DUBAI - Bahrain's Shiite opposition demanded on Thursday a serious political dialogue in a meeting with the kingdom's justice minister and complained of a violent crackdown by authorities on protests.
Al-Wefaq association, the largest political formation of the Shiite majority, said a delegation that met Sheikh Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa called for "seriousness in dialogue through including all parties."
It insisted that the meeting was "not part of a dialogue aimed to solve the political crisis" in the Gulf archipelago that is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.
"It was a meeting to discuss issues related to political associations", a statement said, as tension remains high since the government crackdown in March 2011 on protests demanding democratic change.
Al-Wefaq "hopes that meetings would be serious and not just part of a government public relations campaign," it added.
The delegation also showed Sheikh Khaled "painful photographs of the violence and inhuman action practiced by authorities."
BNA state news said on Wednesday that the justice minister held talks with representatives of political associations during which he "stressed the national responsibility of all parties to renounce violence."
Sporadic demonstrations in Shiite village have intensified since last year's crackdown, which ended month-long protests dominated by Shiites in Manama's Pearl Square.