More than 30 human rights organizations from 25 states around the world called on the Bahraini authorities to drop all against opposition leader and Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Sheikh Ali Salman.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - More than 30 human rights organizations from 25 states around the world called on the Bahraini authorities to drop all against opposition leader and Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Sheikh Ali Salman.
In a joint statement, the organization called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ali Salman, who has been serving a four-year prison sentence for charges in response to political speeches he delivered in 2014, and who is now facing a potential death sentence in a groundless new trial on politically motivated charges.
NGOs have decried the use of the judiciary to punish opposition activists for publicly expressing views that oppose the Bahraini government. The trial is in violation of Sheikh Ali Salman's rights to liberty, fair trial, free expression, and free association.
At the end of their statement, the organizations called on the Bahraini authorities to drop all charges and ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ali Salman and the cancellation of the sentence issued against him in the previous case; stop prosecution of political dissidents and human rights activists for reasons related to freedom of expression; stop the arbitrary use of domestic legislation, including some articles of the Penal Code and the Law on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts, to criminalize the peaceful practice of freedom of opinion and expression; and release all detainees who have been arrested for reasons related to exercising their fundamental rights to expression, organisation and peaceful assembly guaranteed by international laws.
The signatories are:
International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)
Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Adil Soz - International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech
Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC)
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Bytes for All (B4A)
Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI)
Center for Media Studies & Peace Building (CEMESP)
Independent Journalism Center (IJC)
Index on Censorship
Initiative for Freedom of Expression - Turkey
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
Pakistan Press Foundation
PEN American Center
Social Media Exchange (SMEX)
South East Europe Media Organisation
Vigilance for Democracy and the Civic State
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
Global Human Rights Geneva
MENA Monitoring Group
No Peace Without Justice
Salam for Democracy and Human Rights