Amnesty: Sheikh Salman’s Verdict Arbitrary, Authorities Must Order his Immediate, Unconditional Release
2016-12-13 - 8:02 am
Bahrain Mirror: Amnesty International (AI) issued a statement on its website, in which it condemned the 9-year prison verdict issued Monday (December 12, 2016), against Bahraini opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman.
In response to the verdict Samah Hadid, Amnesty International's Middle East Deputy Director of Campaigns said, "Today's shocking verdict is another example of Bahrain's flagrant disregard for the right to freedom of expression. Sheikh Ali Salman is a prisoner of conscience. He has been put behind bars merely for peacefully reaffirming his party's determination to pursue power in Bahrain, to achieve the reform demands of the 2011 uprising and to hold those responsible for human rights violations to account. Instead of punishing him for peaceful criticism the Bahraini authorities must order his immediate and unconditional release."
"The international community can no longer turn a blind eye to the Bahraini authorities' relentless persecution of government critics and human rights activists with the sole purpose of crushing any form of peaceful dissent or opposition to the government. Instead of ignoring criticism of Bahrain's human rights record, its international allies must use their influence to push for the release of Sheikh Ali Salman and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain," Hadid added.
The AI statement noted that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also called on the Bahraini authorities for his immediate release, adding that an initial four-year-sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman was more than doubled to nine years during the first appeal, which was upheld today (Monday) by the Appeals Court.
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