Bahrain Arrests Opposition Leaders After Public Criticism

Former MP's al-Jazeera Interview Followed by Quick Arrest

Following an interview on al-Jazeera TV in which he blasted the regime, opposition MP Mattar Ibrahim Mattar was arrested by the Bahraini government today, along with MP Jawad Ferooz, the Vice President of the Wefaq Party.

The two were key members of the Shi’ite Wefaq faction, which backed the public protests among Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority, and both resigned (along with every single opposition MP) to protest the crackdown against protesters.

The arrests came after Mattar told al-Jazeera that his faction was receiving threats from the regime since the crackdown ended the protests, including killing the detained brother of a Wefaq MP. He added that while the government backed off its proposed ban of Wefaq the group remains under intense pressure.

Human rights groups were quick to criticize the arrests, and expressed concern that the regime has not revealed where the two are being held. The Bahraini Interior Ministry confirmed the killing of the detained protester, insisting he was causing problems at the detention center.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.