Bahrain opposition slams acquittal of top officer found guilty of murdering journalist

Bahrain opposition slams acquittal of top officer found guilty of murdering journalist

A Bahraini protest movement has denounced the acquittal of a high-ranking military official and member of the kingdom’s ruling Al Khalifah regime, who has been found guilty of shooting dead a female sports journalist in front of her young son more than five years ago.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A Bahraini protest movement has denounced the acquittal of a high-ranking military official and member of the kingdom’s ruling Al Khalifah regime, who has been found guilty of shooting dead a female sports journalist in front of her young son more than five years ago.

The February 14 Youth Coalition — named after the date when a popular uprising against Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah regime was born — said in a statement on Friday that it condemns in the strongest terms the move in favor of Hamad Mubarak al-Khalifah who has Eman Salehi’s blood on his hands.

“The measure indicates that Bahrain’s occupying royal family values its members above the blood, honor and dignity of other Bahraini nationals. The pardon sends a clear message to those who mistakenly believe this criminal regime can be reformed. The only option ahead of the Bahraini nation is to overthrow the regime, and later try and expel dictator Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah,” the statement read.

“We are absolutely certain that the entire Bahraini nation, activists, scholars and particularly prisoners, who are being subjected to severe forms of torture as well as mental and physical abuse, have reached the conclusion that the Al Khalifah regime can never be reformed as it does not respect the law,” the Bahraini opposition movement said.

“The only option for everyone, especially the opposition, is to work in solidarity towards overthrowing the ruling regime, prosecuting authorities and purging the homeland of corrupt officials,” it pointed out.

The February 14 Youth Coalition highlighted that the Bahraini nation has realized that the Al Khalifah regime has failed over the past decades to implement genuine reforms in the country.

“The royal family will not abandon committing crimes. It is dictating its authoritarian rule, and is restricting public freedom with each passing day,” it concluded.

Salehi, a Shia Muslim woman, worked as a sports journalist for Bahrain's state-run television broadcaster.

The young mother was gunned down in the street on December 23, 2016 as her six-year-old son watched through the car window.

The journalist was shot once in the head. The killer immediately turned himself into police in the city of Riffa, which is popular with both military officers and members of the royal family.

The motive for the murder of Salehi is not yet clear.

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