Manama Asked to Respect Opposition Figures

Manama Asked to Respect Opposition Figures   Manama Asked to Respect Opposition Figures

It is necessary for the Bahraini government to respect the dignity of the opposition’s religious figures and halt the crackdown on people to ensure a political approach for addressing the political crisis gripping the Persian Gulf island nation.

“Freedom of Sheikh Ali Salman from illegal detention, preserving the dignity of Ayatollah [Sheikh] Isa Qassim and ending security measures are prerequisites for the political settlement [of crisis] in Bahrain,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a foreign policy advisor to Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, said on Tuesday, Tasnim News Agency reported.

“Iran does not interfere in Bahrain’s internal affairs, but supports democracy, freedom of expression and human rights in the region, including Bahrain.”

Amir-Abdollahian’s comments came after Manama’s announcement of a decision to bring to trial senior Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism.” Sheikh Qassim, 79, has rejected the charges. Also in May, Bahrain’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased a four-year prison sentence against another eminent Bahraini Shia cleric, Sheikh Salman, by five more years. Salman, who is the secretary-general of the banned opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, was arrested on December 28, 2014, after the government accused him of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers.