HRW Urges West to Act over “Unjustly Jailed” Bahrain Opposition Figures

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Friday, 09 October 2015

Human Rights Watch called on Manama on Thursday to immediately release two "unjustly imprisoned" opposition figures, urging the kingdom's allies London and Washington to intervene on their behalf.

Ibrahim Sharif, an activist who spent four years in jail over his involvement in 2011 pro-democracy protests, has been on trial since August for "promoting political change through forceful means".

His re-arrest in July followed a speech he made at a ceremony for a victim of the unrest that has shaken Bahrain.

The head of the Al-Wefaq opposition bloc, Ali Salman, was sentenced in June to four years in prison after he was convicted of “inciting disobedience and hatred.”

An appeals court is reviewing that conviction while the prosecution is demanding the annulment of his acquittal in the charge of allegedly “plotting to overthrow the regime” and a tougher sentence.

The United States and Britain "are fully aware of the gross unfairness of Salman's trial and the content of Sharif's peaceful speeches, and this should give them good reason to call publicly for an end to their prosecutions and their immediate release," HRW deputy Middle East director Joe Stork said.

Both regime opponents will face new hearings in their trials next week.

"Salman and Sharif have consistently supported peaceful political reform and should be at a negotiating table with Bahrain's government, not languishing behind bars," said Stork.

"Countries that say they support Bahrain's reform process should make this point publicly," he said.

Rating: 5 Read 714 times Last modified on Friday, 09 October 2015

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