The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has censured a recent court ruling against prominent Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman as politically-motivated, saying the charges leveled against the Shia cleric are “fabricated and untrue.”
In a statement released on Tuesday, Hezbollah said a four-year jail term against Salman, who heads Bahrain’s main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, shows the Al Khalifa regime has distanced itself from the Bahraini nation.
“The sentence displays the Bahraini regime is trying to cling to power by means of oppression, arbitrary verdicts, and intimidation,” the statement read.
The resistance movement further said that the verdict against Sheikh Salman reflects the Bahraini authorities’ resentment at the nation’s thoughtful and peaceful drive for democratic reforms in the Persian Gulf Arab country, and the establishment of a just system to represent all Bahrainis.
Hezbollah also called on legal and civil institutions in the Arab world and worldwide to press the Al Khalifa regime for the freedom of Salman and support the peaceful popular uprising in Bahrain.
Salman was detained on December 28, 2014 on charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the incumbent 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 5, the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) renewed calls on the Manama regime to immediately release the al-Wefaq leader.
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 Bahrainis dead and hundreds of others injured.