Bahraini protesters call for release of Sheikh Salman
Scores of anti-regime protesters have staged a demo in Bahrain, calling for the immediate release of the leading opposition figure and Shia cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman, and other political activists behind bars.
The demonstrators held a rally in the western district of Bilad al-Qadim, a suburb of the capital Manama, demanding the release of Salman, who heads Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
At least two demonstrators were detained by security forces before the demonstration was broken up by police, according to activists who took part in the event.
Salman was detained on December 28, 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the ruling Al Khalifa regime and collaboration with foreign powers. He has strongly denied the charges, emphasizing that he has been seeking reforms in the kingdom through peaceful means.
On June 16, a Bahraini court sentenced Salman to four years in prison on charges such as insulting the Bahraini Interior Ministry and inciting others to break the law. He was acquitted of seeking regime change.
Anti-regime protesters have been holding demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.
The ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations has left scores of people dead and hundreds injured, and many more behind bars.