Bahrain has said it is banning an opposition rally planned for Thursday morning saying that holding a demonstration in "such a vital location, including vital economic establishments, at such timing will hinder the traffic, undermine security and harm public interests," the Bahrain News Agency quoted the Public Security Chief Major-General Tariq Al Hassan as saying.
Al Wefaq society, the main opposition group in Bahrain, had submitted a request to the Directorate of the Capital Governorate Police to stage a rally from Bab Al Bahrain to Ras Ruman in the capital of Manama on Thursday morning.
Al-Hassan stressed that the rally was "illegal, and therefore legal action would be taken against violators."
Last week authorities banned a series of opposition rallies, a move that was described by the opposition as "a new attempt to silence them."
The Gulf Arab state, which is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy and hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since activists mainly from the majority Shi'ite community began protests in February 2011, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. The uprising was initially crushed in when the government imposed martial law and brought in Saudi and United Arab Emirates troops.
The Shi'ite community, which constitutes the majority of the population in Bahrain, say they feel marginalized economically and politically by the Sunni ruling family who has been in power in the Gulf country for more than two centuries.
Activists claim that more than 80 people have died since February 2011.