Bahrainis reiterate demand for Salman release
People in Bahrain have staged a fresh anti-regime protest, calling for the immediate release of Sheikh Ali Salman, the head of the main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and all prisoners of conscience.
The protesters, holding portraits of Sheikh Ali Salman, staged a rally in the northwestern village of Diraz after Friday Prayers, condemning his continued detention.
Sheikh Salman was arrested on December 28, 2014, on charges of attempting to overthrow the Manama regime and collaborating with foreign powers. He denies the charges, saying he has been seeking reforms in the kingdom through peaceful means.
In June 2015, a Bahraini court sentenced him to four years in prison on charges such as insulting the Bahraini Interior Ministry and inciting others to break the law. He was cleared of charges of subversion.
Also on Friday, the demonstrators voiced their determination to push ahead with their five-year-old uprising.
More jail for Bahrainis
Meanwhile, six Bahrainis have been given each 10 years in prison and another one slapped with a 3-year jail term for their alleged role in burning an armored police vehicle and holding a gathering in Eker village on November 3, 2015, Bahrain Mirror reported on Wednesday.
Bahrain’s high criminal court also collectively imposed some USD 10,000 in cash fine on the defendants.
Human rights organizations dismissed the sentences, noting that the verdicts had been issued based on confessions gained under torture.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on an almost daily basis in Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini regime in its crackdown on peaceful protests.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the crackdown.