Iran Condemns Court Ruling on Bahraini Cleric Sheikh Salman

Iran Condemns Court Ruling on Bahraini Cleric Sheikh Salman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned a Bahraini high court’s decision to uphold a life sentence against prominent opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and two other dissidents.

“Issuing a cruel verdict based on unsubstantial accusations against him (Sheikh Salman) shows that the Bahraini government, by relying on the support of some foreign countries, is pursuing a plan to eliminate any peaceful voice of protest in the country,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.

His comments came after Bahrain's highest court on Monday upheld life sentences against Sheikh Salman and two other opposition leaders on charges of spying for Qatar.

Al-Wefaq secretary-general Sheikh Ali Salman and the two others, Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Alaswad, were sentenced to life imprisonment in November, overturning a previous acquittal.

The decision was made by Bahrain's highest court of appeal, the Court of Cassation.

In his remarks, the Iranian spokesman criticized the international community’s silence on Bahrain's inhumane measures against dissidents.

He slammed the “hypocritical” position of the US on Manama’s policies and said Washington has given the green light to the Bahraini government to suppress the dissidents by selling arms to the regime and providing it with “full political support.”

Instead of fully relying on foreign support for meeting the country’s security needs, Bahraini officials had better solve the “self-made crisis” in the country by holding real and serious talks with opposition groups and fulfilling the Bahraini people’s legitimate demands, Qassemi added, Press TV reported.

The senior Bahraini cleric has been in jail on a nine-year prison sentence since late 2014 for what the Manama regime has called “insulting” government officials, “inciting” unrest through his speeches targeting the authorities during the 2011 uprising, attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers.

Sheikh Salman denies all the charges, saying he has merely been seeking reforms in the country through peaceful means.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have censured his arrest and called for his release.

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