Mansoor al-Jamri
Mansoor al-Jamri (L), co-founder and editor-in-chief of Al-Wasat newspaper in Bahrain Michael Nagle/Getty Images for Committee to Protect Journalists

Bahrain has ordered an independent newspaper to stop publishing "until further notice", amid a significant crackdown on dissent in the Gulf nation.

The Information Affairs Ministry said on Sunday (4 June) that the decision to shut down Al-Wasat came over its publication of a story "affecting the relations of the kingdom of Bahrain with other countries".

Mansoor al-Jamri, the paper's editor-in-chief, told the Associated Press that the article dealt with a northern Morocco town where the arrest of demonstrators has aggravated public anger over corruption and poor economic conditions.

Jamri said the order was a "total surprise." He added: "We didn't have any due process basically."

The decision comes amid a yearlong crackdown in which activists have been arrested or forced into exile, while political parties have been disbanded.

Bahrain was one of the first countries visited by President Donald Trump in his first state outing as Commander-In-Chief.