DUBAI - Bahrain said on Sunday it would take legal measures to close down a Shi'ite Islamist opposition party that has played a prominent role in protests against its Sunni Muslim monarchy.
The justice ministry said it would ask the courts to ban the Islamic Action party, Amal, for "major violations" of Bahrain's constitution and laws, the state BNA news agency reported. It gave no details.
Amal spokesman Hisham Sabbagh said he believed the ministry was trying to put pressure on the party to accept a national dialogue with the government aimed at ending the political crisis which grew out of protests that erupted 16 months ago.
He said the violations referred to party meetings in unlicensed premises in 2006 and 2008.