GENEVA — U.N. human rights experts are denouncing a “sharp deterioration” in the rights situation in Bahrain, including an intensifying crackdown on opposition parties and a Shiite religious leader.

The five rights experts, who are independent but commissioned by the U.N. human rights office, said in a statement on Friday that the repression “took a new turn” in June 2016 with government moves to dissolve the main opposition party, the al-Wefaq Islamic Society.

They also noted a security forces’ operation last month in the city of Duraz used “excessive and lethal force to disperse peaceful protesters,” citing reported use of “tear gas, shotguns equipped with birdshot and lethal anti-personnel weapons.”

The experts say Bahraini authorities have resorted to “drastic measures” to curb dissent including torture, arbitrary detention, death threats and travel bans.