Bahrain’s Ministry of Labour & Social Development has dropped the nomination of three of its members from running in the 2022 legislative election.
Current head Abdul Jalil Youssef, along with lawyer Isa Ibrahim and Mohsen Matar are those who meant to run, but seem to have faced legal obstacles.
Activists believe the three are being arbitrarily sidelined because they are former members of the National Democratic Labour Action Society, Wa’ad, which was dissolved in 2017 along with other opposition groups as part of Manama’s intensifying campaign against all forms of dissent. Manama also prohibited all of the organizations’ members from holding office.
It is noteworthy that on February 20, 2018, the law of political isolation, which prevents members of dissolved societies from running in the elections, was passed.
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights commenting on the Ministry of Labor and Social Development said the procedure is disappointing as it perpetuates political isolation, in full view of the international human rights community. Besides, the forum points out that the authority’s greatest concern has always been to eliminate human rights activism and political opposition.
For its part, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights has called on the Bahraini authorities to reverse the application of the political isolation law as it “hinders the work of human rights defenders and limits their work space, and thus does not serve the country’s issues, whether locally or internationally.”