Bahrainis renew call for Salman’s release in fresh rallies

Bahrainis renew call for Salman’s release in fresh rallies

HomeMiddle EastPersian Gulf Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:53PM

Thousands of Bahrainis have taken to the streets across the Persian Gulf kingdom in a show of protest against the continued imprisonment of prominent Shia cleric and opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

Protesters staged a rally in the northwestern Bahraini village of Diraz, situated about 12 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the capital, Manama, following Friday prayers, demanding the freedom of Salman, who heads the country’s main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

The marchers, carrying portraits of Salman and Bahrain’s national flags, also denounced the al-Wefaq leader’s continued detention as a violation of civil rights.

The protest rally, however, turned violent after Bahraini regime forces stormed the gathering, firing teargas canisters to disperse the demonstrators.

People also held similar rallies in the villages of Karzakan, Jabalat Habashi and Saar, calling for Salman’s immediate release.

Salman was detained on December 28, 2014 on charges that included attempts to overthrow the incumbent regime and collaboration with foreign powers.

He has strongly denied the charges, emphasizing that he has been seeking reforms in the kingdom through peaceful means.

On June 5, the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) renewed calls on the Manama regime to immediately release the al-Wefaq leader.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

The ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations has left scores of Bahrainis dead and hundreds of others injured.

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