Bahraini Activists, Clerics Stage Protests over Sheikh Salman's Arrest
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Bahrain’s opposition groups and Shiite clerics took to the streets of villages outside the capital, Manama, on Monday to voice their outrage over the recent arrest of the country's leading opposition figure by the ruling regime forces.
Dozens of clerics held a demonstration on Monday in Imam Sadiq Mosque in Alguful district of Manama to condemn the imprisonment of Sheikh Ali Salman, secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition party al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
The clerics were carrying photographs of the detained opposition leader, pictures posted on Al-Wefaq's Twitter account showed.
News of the arrest of the Al-Wefaq leader also drew hundreds of his supporters onto the streets of villages outside the capital late on Sunday, prompting clashes with security forces, media reports said.
Police fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse the protesters, many of whom had gathered in Salman's home village of Bilad al-Qadeem, witnesses said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, according to AFP.
Thirty seven human rights organizations, in a statement, demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Salman, while Bahrain's February 14th Youth Coalition called for more protests Monday in Bilad al-Qadeem.
Al Khalifa authorities detained Sheikh Salman on Sunday after long hours of investigations in criminal investigations building.
Sheikh Salman’s lawyer has asserted that his client is charged with “provoking hatred for the ruling regime and attending illegal demonstrations”.
Following the massive anti-regime protests held on Friday, Bahrain's Interior Ministry had ordered Salman to appear before police investigators on Sunday without providing any explanation as to why the summons was issued.