TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, condemned the Al Khalifa regime for upholding a life sentence against top Shiite cleric and opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, describing the move as political.

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In a statement released on Monday, al-Wefaq said the Bahraini regime’s Supreme Court on January 28 upheld the life sentences of Sheikh Salman and two former lawmakers.

“Such a verdict was issued against Sheikh Salman for political and retaliatory reasons,” the opposition group stated.

The Manama regime’s use of trials is merely “a showcase” for the bloodthirsty and despotic regime in Bahrain, the statement added. 

Sheikh Salman, who headed the al-Wefaq group, was convicted in November of "communicating with Qatari officials… to overthrow constitutional order", a ruling rights groups have called a travesty.

Salman's aides Ali al-Aswad and Hassan Sultan, who had been sentenced to life in absentia, also lost their right to appeal. Both men are former MPs and currently reside outside of Bahrain.

Salman was arrested in late December 2014 over alleged anti-regime incitements. Manama accused him of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers.

Bahrain, a staunch ally of the United States in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.