Press Shia Agency – Bahraini scholars have strongly condemned the country’s ruling regime for upholding a nine-year prison sentence against distinguished Shiite cleric and opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

Press Shia – On Monday, Bahrain’s appeals court ruled to uphold a nine-year prison term imposed on the country's most prominent opposition leader, Shiite cleric Sheikh Ali Salman, despite widespread criticism both at home and abroad against his imprisonment.


In a statement on Friday, Bahraini scholars called the ruling “cruel and false”, emphasizing that it cannot weaken Sheikh Salman’s resolve to seek justice and reforms in the Persian Gulf country.


The statement also sharply criticized Western powers for supporting Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah regime in its crackdown against pro-democracy protesters, ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February, 2011.


Bahrain  hosts the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, restricting the US government's ability to press for reforms.


Britain’s Prince Charles also inaugurated the Naval Support Facility (NSF) in the Bahraini capital of Manama on Nov 2016, marking the 200th anniversary of mutual relations with the Arab kingdom.


London plans to make the £30-million base its second busiest center of operations for the Royal Navy after Portsmouth, allowing its warships to resupply and undergo repair in the region without having to return to the UK.


Elsewhere in the Statement, Bahraini scholars remind that Sheikh Ali Salman has expressed willingness to continue his struggle against the regime and even sacrifice his life until justice and democracy is established in Bahrain.


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