HRW Demands Immediate Release of Opposition Leader Ebrahim Sharif

2016-02-19 - 2:45 ص

Bahrain Mirror: Human Rights Watch demanded Bahraini authorities to immediately release opposition political leader Ebrahim Sharif who is facing a lengthy prison sentence solely for peaceful criticism of the government.

HRW said that Ebrahim Sharif has been in detention since his arrest on July 11, 2015, on charges that he encouraged the overthrow of the government and "incited hatred" in a speech he gave the day before. According to Sharif's lawyer, the speech constitutes the only evidence that prosecutors have supplied to support the charges. After reviewing the speech, Human Rights Watch could not find any language suggesting that Sharif called for violence.

"Most high-profile critics of the government are in jail or in exile, yet Bahrain's allies in Europe and the United States babble on about a reform process," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. "Anyone with an Internet connection can see for themselves just how ridiculous these charges are."

The organization said in a statement issued on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, that a Bahraini court will deliver its verdict on February 24, 2016, stressing that Sharif's speech "repudiated violence and supported peaceful protest".

In a January 12, 2015 letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sharif's wife, Farida Ghulam, described the trial as "a farcical attempt to demonize the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression," HRW further stated.

"The continued detention of Ebrahim Sharif is one more piece of evidence, if any were needed, that Bahrain is a serial abuser of the right to free speech," Stork said.

Arabic Issue


التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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