Bahraini Protesters Demand Opposition Leader’s Immediate Release
Thousands of people in Bahrain once again poured into streets to voice their outrage over the prolonged detention of Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of the Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq, and call for his immediate release.
The protesters in al-Musalla district in Manama, capital of Bahrain, called for the cessation of Sheikh Salman’s trial, describing it as the “trial of Bahraini nation”.
A Bahraini court is expected to pronounce its verdict in the trial of Sheikh Salman soon.
According to al-Alam TV, Bahraini protesters reiterated their opposition to any verdict other than Sheikh Salman’s exoneration, reiterating that the charges against him are totally false and fabricated.
Meanwhile, some Bahraini legal bodies and lawyers have described the trial as a “merely political” one that lacks international standards for a fair trial.
Sheikh Salman was arrested in late December 2014 over alleged anti-regime incitements. Manama accuses him of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers.
His arrest has triggered condemnation inside and outside Bahrain, with leaders, governments and international organizations across the world calling for his immediate release.
Back in April, Amnesty International called on the Bahraini regime to release all political prisoners.
The Western-allied kingdom, which is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.