Updated in: 27 July 2021 - 03:36
More than 30 independent rights groups called on the Bahraini regime to drop all charges against prominent Shia and opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman as the ruling Al-Khalifah dynasty does not shy away from its heavy-handed clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.
News ID: 70853
Publish Date: 21June 2018 - 16:02

Tens of Right Groups Call on Bahraini Regime to Drop Charges against Opposition LeaderTEHRAN (Defapress)-The 32 NGOs announced in a joint statement that the June 21 trial against Sheikh Salman constitutes a violation of his “rights to liberty, fair trial, free expression, and free association… [and] further contracts democratic space in the country”.

They also called for an end to the “prosecution of political dissidents and human rights activists for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” demanding the Manama regime to stop using legislation to “criminalize the peaceful practice of freedom of opinion and expression”.

The 52-year-old secretary general of the dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society and two of his colleagues, Hassan Sultan and Ali al-Aswad, were charged in early November 2017 with “spying on behalf of a foreign country... with the aim of carrying out subversive acts against Bahrain and harming its national interests”.

Sheikh Salman was also charged with “revealing defense secrets to a foreign country and disseminating information that would harm Bahrain's status and reputation”.

The senior Bahraini Shia cleric has been in jail on a nine-year prison sentence since late 2014 for what the Manama regime has called “insulting” government officials, “inciting” unrest through his speeches targeting the authorities during the 2011 uprising, attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers.

Sheikh Salman denies all the charges, saying he has merely been seeking reforms in the country through peaceful means.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have already censured his arrest and called for his release.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al-Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al-Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

message end/

your comment
* Comment: