Bahraini Clerics Urge Rallies in Support of Jailed Opposition Leader
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Senior Bahraini clerics, in a statement, called for massive demonstrations across the Persian Gulf country in solidarity with the opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, who has been in detention for a month.
The Bahraini clerics have asked the people of the Arab country to stage rallies in support of Sheikh Salman on Wednesday concurrent with the first session of his trial, the official website of al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, reported.
The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society has also called on the supporters of the opposition party and Sheikh Salman to go on strike from Tuesday night at 9 p.m. (local time) to Wednesday evening.
The Al Khalifa regime is pressing ahead with its crackdown on opposition, after it extended the detention of Sheikh Salman for an unlimited period.
Salman was arrested on December 27 over alleged anti-regime incitements.
The 49-year-old cleric is charged with “promoting regime change by force, threats, and illegal means, and of insulting the Interior Ministry publicly,” said Bahraini prosecutor Nayef Mahmud.
The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011. Protesters initially called for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy. However, the demand later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
Scores of people have been killed in the crackdown and security forces have arrested hundreds including doctors and nurses. Dozens of demonstrators have also been sentenced to jail terms for attending street protests.
International human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the Manama regime for its excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.