Bahraini opposition cleric says ready to spend whole life in prison

Bahrain’s al-Wefaq opposition group leader Sheikh Ali Salman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, who has been in detention for a month, announced that he is ready to spend his life in prison for the sake of the Bahraini people.

In messages posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday on the eve of his trial, Sheikh Ali Salman addressed the Bahraini people, saying, “Do not be sad for my imprisonment, I am ready to spend my life as a prisoner for your sake and your children’s happiness and their future.”

He asked people to call for the freedom of all political prisoners in the Bahraini jails and pursue the right to elect their own government.

Sheikh Salman further addressed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and appreciated his stance on his case, and asked Ban to continue his efforts to enable the people of Bahrain to elect their own government in a “democratic way”.

The senior cleric also stated that during his detention, he was interrogated by the Al Khalifa regime forces about his demands made before the King and his Crown Prince.

Salman was arrested on December 27 after long hours of investigation over alleged anti-regime incitements.

The 49-year-old cleric is charged with “promoting regime change by force, threats, and illegal means, and of insulting the Interior Ministry publicly,” said Bahraini prosecutor Nayef Mahmud.

The Al Khalifa regime is pressing ahead with its crackdown on opposition, after it extended the detention of Sheikh Salman for an unlimited period.

The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011. Protesters initially called for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy. However, the demand later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

Scores of people have been killed in the crackdown and security forces have arrested hundreds including doctors and nurses. Dozens of demonstrators have also been sentenced to jail terms for attending street protests.

By Tasnim News Agency


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