Bahraini Cleric’s Jail Term Source of Deep Concern

Bahraini Cleric’s Jail Term Source of Deep Concern

Iran's Foreign Ministry expressed serious concern over the move by Bahrain's appeals court to uphold a "long-term" jail sentence handed down to senior Shia opposition cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman.
"The unfair, violent and repressive treatment of peaceful and moderate Bahraini leaders will not only fail to solve the country's numerous problems, but will likely lead to the disillusionment of the believers in and supporters of peaceful approaches," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday, Press TV reported.
Addressing Bahraini officials, the spokesman said providing military bases to extra-regional countries, welcoming foreign military forces and paying their expenses from the Bahraini people's money would fail to "guarantee security" in the country.
Qasemi noted that "only reliance on popular power and national reconciliation" will be the best guarantee for the security of countries and governments.
During a Monday trial session, Bahrain's appeals court upheld a nine-year jail sentence handed down to Sheikh Salman, the secretary-general of the dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, despite widespread criticism both at home and abroad against his imprisonment. On October 16, Bahrain's Court of Cassation overturned the sentence and ordered a retrial of the senior Shia opposition figure, who had been sentenced to nine years in jail in previous trials.
Earlier this month, the tribunal adjourned the trial of Sheikh Salman to December 12.
Sheikh Salman was arrested in December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Manama government and collaborating with foreign powers. He denies the charges, saying he has merely been seeking reforms in the country through peaceful means.
Amnesty International and other human rights groups have slammed his arrest and called for his release.
Bahrain has been witnessing protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since mid-February 2011.


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