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Bahrain condemns Iranian statement

Manama calls upon Tehran to uphold good neighbourliness, non-interference principles

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain’s foreign ministry on Monday condemned remarks by the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman, saying that “they lacked credibility and did not reflect the reality on the ground in the kingdom.” “The Kingdom of Bahrain, under the leadership of HM King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, has invariably respected the rule and sovereignty of the law and has treated its people appropriately,” the foreign ministry said. Bahrain is “ruled by a fair system of justice and no one is arrested without proper legal motives. Public freedoms and human rights are respected in the country,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry added that Bahrain “condemned the irresponsible Iranian statements.” “We do stress that the Iranian government should take into consideration the principles of good neighbourliness, respect of the international law and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and starts confidence-building measures and amicable relations for the sake of common interests,” the ministry said. On Sunday, the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that the arrest in Bahrain of Khalil Marzooq, the deputy leader of Al Wefaq society, was “a baseless excuse.” The former lawmaker was held last week for 30 days pending an investigation. “Investigations have revealed that the political assistant to Al Wefaq Islamic Society secretary general has links with the terrorist group The Coalition of February 14,” Public Prosecution head Nayef Yusuf said. “Some of the leaders and members of this group had been referred to the court. Marzooq supported the group and delivered speeches on several occasions that included incitement to commit and promote terrorist crimes, which denotes that he endorsed their principles and backed their acts of violence that are banned under the law. He delivered his latest speech in which he incited to acts of violence on September 6 at a political rally in Saar. During the meeting, Marzouq raised a banner of the terrorist organisation after it was handed to him by an unknown masked man,” the prosecutor said. The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) later denied media reports that the former lawmaker had been detained for political activities or speech related charges. “For many years, Khalil Marzooq has carried out his political activities unhindered both in and out of parliament, in and out of Bahrain, freely expressing views critical of government policy – a right enshrined in Bahrain’s constitution and guaranteed by its laws,” the IAA said in a statement to Bahrain News Agency (BNA). “The Public Prosecution warrant relates to an investigation into his links to an extremist group calling itself the Coalition of 14 February Revolution Youths. This group has declared responsibility for a car bomb that detonated in the main financial district of the capital city Manama on the 14th of April 2013. This group has repeatedly incited and glorified attacks against police and civilians on a daily basis,” the IAA said.