Press Shia – The life sentence handed down by an appellate court in Bahrain to prominent Shia cleric and opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman proves that the ruling Al Khalifah regime cannot be reformed, says an activist.
Press Shia Agency – “Of course Sheikh Ali and the group with him, al-Wefaq, thought in 2005-2006 that they would be able to reform this regime from within by taking part in the elections and becoming members of the so-called parliament but of course they realized later that it was a pseudo parliament, a pseudo democracy. So they left the political process,” Saeed Shehabi, member of the Bahrain Freedom Movement said in an interview on Sunday.
“The regime has its problem within itself. It is a backward reactionary, cannot be taken as a representative of modern way of life in terms of collective decision making, transparency, freedom of expression, so I think the sentencing of Sheikh Ali Salman to a life imprisonment is a disgrace to the dictator, to his clique, to those who back him in London and Washington and to those marginal figures inside the country who get along with his policies,” he added.
On November 1, 2017, opposition leader Sheikh Salman and his two assistants were charged with “spying on behalf of a foreign country… with the aim of carrying out subversive acts against Bahrain and harming its national interests.”
According to Press TV, Sheikh Salman was also charged with “revealing defense secrets to a foreign country and disseminating information that would harm Bahrain's status and reputation.”
The senior Bahraini Shia 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.