Bahrainis Call for Immediate Release of Shia Cleric

TEHRAN (IQNA) – Hundreds of Bahrainis staged anti-regime protest rallies across the Persian Gulf kingdom on the eve of the trial of the distinguished Shia opposition cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman.

Bahrainis Call for Immediate Release of Shia Cleric

The protesters poured out into the streets in the villages
of Diraz, al-Markh and Saar as well as the town of Bilad al-Qadeem on Sunday
evening, calling for the immediate release of Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary
general of the country’s dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and other
political detainees, Press TV reported.

On October 16, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation ordered a
retrial of the senior Shia opposition figure, who has been sentenced to nine
years in jail in a series of previous trials.

Earlier this month, the tribunal adjourned the trial of
Sheikh Salman to December 12.

He was arrested in December 2014 on charges of attempting to
overthrow the Manama regime and collaborating with foreign powers. Sheikh
Salman denies the charges, saying he has merely been seeking reforms in the
country through peaceful means.

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

During Sunday’s rallies, the demonstrators also expressed
their solidarity with top Shia scholar Sheikh Isa Qassim, who was stripped of
his citizenship on June 20 in yet another repressive measure by the regime
against political dissent.

Besides al-Wefaq, the regime has also dissolved the
opposition al-Risala Islamic Association and Islamic Enlightenment Institution,
founded by Sheikh Qassim.

Bahrain has been witnessing almost daily protests against
the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty since mid-February 2011.

Manama’s heavy-handed crackdown on demonstrations, aided by
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has left scores of people dead and
hundreds more injured.

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