Bahrain to freeze accounts of Qataris

Bahrain's central bank orders local banks to freeze assets and bank accounts of blacklisted Qatar-linked individuals and entities.

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Elad Benari,

Flag of Bahrain
Flag of Bahrain
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Bahrain's central bank on Sunday ordered banks operating in the kingdom to freeze assets and bank accounts of the Qatar-linked 59 individuals and 12 entities that a group of Saudi-led Arab countries have accused of links to terrorism, Reuters reported, citing the state news agency BNA.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, placed dozens of figures linked to Qatar on blacklists late last week, including members of Qatar's royal family and one of the spiritual leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

That move came several days after those countries broke off relations with Qatar over what they say is the emirate's financing of terrorist groups, such as Hamas, as well as its ties to Iran.

"The central bank issued a directive to all the financial institutions licensed in the kingdom of Bahrain to freeze accounts, cash, deposits, investments, insurance policies and all the financial transactions of the individuals and entities that were on the terrorism list," BNA said Sunday.

The central bank also asked the banks to provide any information they hold on the members of the list as soon as possible, the statement said.

Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani, on Saturday rejected the Gulf states' boycott of his country, claiming that Hamas is a “legitimate resistance movement” and that Arab states view it as such.