Diyaa Ayyad: Life Term against Bahrain’s Mandela: ‘Incriminating Evidence’ Constitute Evidence for his Acquittal

Diyaa Ayyad - 2019-02-13 - 3:05 ص

The Bahraini judiciary issued on January 28, 2019, a final verdict, sentencing the leader of Bahrain's national opposition, Sheikh Ali Salman, to life imprisonment, along with two former Al-Wefaq MPs Ali Al-Aswad and Sheikh Hasan Sultan, in what is known as the case of "colluding with Qatar", convicting them of disclosing sensitive information and receiving financial support from Qatar.

The ruling was not surprising in the slightest; as it is easy for anyone who follows the situation in Bahrain and is aware of the regime's governing policies and how things are dealt with in the country, to expect such a verdict against Sheikh Salman. Through the incriminating evidence the ruling family presented via the judiciary, it was, in fact, providing evidence for Sheikh Ali Salman's acquittal, according to observers.

The "colluding" case fabricated by the Bahraini authorities following the break-up of relations with Qatar on June 5, 2017, against the number one advocate of peaceful opposition as he is described, witnessed before the final verdict, dramatic developments in which the regime turned on itself:

-  On June 21, 2018, the first instance court issued an acquittal ruling

-  The public prosecution challenged the verdict

-  On November 4, 2018, the appeal court annulled the acquittal verdict and sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, Ali Al-Aswad and Hasan Sultan to life in prison.

This is regarding Bahrain. Qatar, however, denies the accusations, and demands Bahrain "not to resort politicizing the judiciary or to involve its [Qatar's] name in favor of political scores that have proved to be narrow-minded and unbecoming for a state". The Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said that the mediation undertaken by Qatar to solve the Bahraini crisis was in coordination with the United States and Bahrain, which corresponds to paragraph 525 of the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry appointed by the king in 2011.

Bahrain turning against the previous ruling and upholding the life imprisonment sentence, in relation to which the Deputy Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Sheikh Hussein Al-Daihi described the judiciary in Bahrain as "rotten trash", restores to memory the regime's arbitrary procedures carried out through its courts on political grounds. For example, on January 3, 2019, Amnesty International described Bahrain's judicial system as a "complete farce."

Observers see that the confusion that accompanied the case of Sheikh Ali Salman does not only demonstrate a lack of impartiality on part of the Bahraini judiciary, but also proves the Saudi intervention in Bahraini state affairs, as the island kingdom is heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia. Bahrain suffers a difficult economic situation on both the levels of the state and people. Bahrain is spending billions of dollars on armament at the expense of economic development, in order to confront any possible movement by the opposition, amid the ongoing February 14 uprising, which will enter its ninth year this month.

It is not unlikely for the Bahraini regime, who is mostly reliant on Saudi Arabia, two days after the comments made by Lebanon's Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, who said that the weakness of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may reflect positively on the Bahraini issue, and that "what prevents a dialogue in Bahrain is Saudi Arabia", to uphold the life sentence. This raised a number of questions, one of which is: Was the verdict made out of spite of Nasrallah's words?

In any case, a life term against a man who is known for his peacefulness and reformist speech confirms the legitimate political demands of the people of Bahrain, which are adopted by the opposition leader known as "Mandela of Bahrain". Thus, repression, marginalization and exclusion attempts will not be effective... The revolution still continues... and the movements is ongoing.

Arabic Version 

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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