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Amnesty Int’l: Verdict on Opposition Leader is Bitter Blow to Freedom of Expression

2019-01-29 - 2:14 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Amnesty International said that upholding life sentence against Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman is a bitter blow to freedom of expression.

"Today's verdict is yet another nail in the coffin for the right to freedom of expression in Bahrain and exposes the country's justice system as a complete farce. The decision to uphold Sheikh Ali Salman's conviction and life prison sentence following an unfair trial highlights the authorities' determination to silence critical voices," Amnesty International's Middle East Campaigns Director Samah Hadid said.

She added "The Bahraini authorities must quash Sheikh Ali Salman's conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally. They should also rescind the decision to dissolve the two opposition political groups, Al-Wefaq and Wa'ad, and guarantee the right of everyone to freedom of association."

The case against Sheikh Ali Salman is based on recorded telephone conversations he had with the-then Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, in 2011.

On November 4, 2018, he was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of trumped-up spying charges. Two other Al-Wefaq members, Ali Al-Aswad and Sheikh Hasan Sultan, were convicted in their absence during the same trial.

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