The Central Committee of the National Democratic Action Society (WAAD) held an extraordinary meeting on March 8th to discuss the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, before the High Civil Court’s Administrative Department to "dissolve the society and liquidate its funds in favor of the State’s treasury and bear all the defendant’s expenses."
The list of allegations brought forward by the MoJ against WAAD includes: committing “serious violations” in breach of the Kingdom's laws, Constitution, and National Action Charter, including incitement of acts of terrorism and promoting violent and forceful overthrow of the political regime, and accusing the association of systematically undermining the democratic legitimacy of Bahrain’s legislative, executive, and judicial authorities.
In light of these allegations, we clarify the following:
Firstly: The National Democratic Action Society (WAAD) was built on a solid foundation provided by the National Action Charter and has affirmed in its bylaws that its work and practices are in accordance with the Constitution, the National Action Charter, and human rights. WAAD was built on the foundation of furthering political awareness, spreading democratic values, and building a civil society accepting political and intellectual pluralism governed by the rule of law.
Secondly: WAAD stresses its commitment to its peaceful and democratic principles and approach, respecting all judicial rulings based on the principles of justice. Since its inception on 10 September 2001, WAAD adheres to and is inspired by principles of freedom, democracy, human rights, tolerance and social justice. WAAD follows peaceful means in its political activism, condemning violence in all forms, affirming its commitment to a modern democratic civil society built on equal citizenship, democracy, and human rights, guided by its May 2016 document titled “The Democratic Civil State in Bahrain”. In 2012, WAAD issued the “Non-violence” document alongside other political opposition societies, which confirms WAAD’s position condemning all forms and sources of violence, and maintains our position to defend the rights of our citizens in practicing freedom of speech and assembly.
Thirdly: WAAD has long engraved the principles of justice and national reconciliation in its literature from the very beginning of its establishment. This includes, for instance, the “National Reconciliation Proposal in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” a document that has been shared with the authorities and a range of civil society organizations in December of 2005 and later proposed during the National Dialogue in July of 2011, emphasizing the importance of a real resolution of the political crisis in the country.
Fourthly: WAAD, along with the political opposition societies, has offered its list of recommendations on resolving the ongoing political crisis. This includes, for instance, the recommendations of the six political opposition societies proposed in March 2011, the Manama Paper in October 2011, and the recommendations of the organizations of the National Democratic Movement in March 2012. In addition, a list of other documents have been handed and presented during the National Dialogue of 2011 and following dialogues in 2013 and 2014. Our work always emphasizes the importance of resolving the political crisis through national reconciliation and an inclusive dialogue.
Fifthly: The strength of a political system and indeed the strength of the state lies in the existence of a political opposition that plays its role of constructive criticism and pushes for proper and fair policy implementation. This, indeed, is what WAAD has been striving to do since its establishment, considering it as one of its patriotic duties.
Sixthly: WAAD, along with the organizations of the National Democratic Movement, has published in January 2014 the “Anti-Hatred Document”, calling for a state of equal citizenship, respect for human rights, democracy, social justice and national unity.
The Central Committee of the National Democratic Action Society (WAAD) sees the allegations of the Ministry of Justice as groundless, incapable of withstanding against the facts. WAAD is a political organization that transcends religious sects. It constitutes an integral part of the national opposition and of the political system and it plays an important role in complementing and strengthening the country. The Central Committee considers the MoJ’s call to dissolve WAAD as a serious step that further endangers political activity and its future. It considers this call as an additional abolishment of an already impoverished set of political freedoms in Bahrain.
The Central Committee
The National Democratic Action Society (WAAD)
8th of March, 2017