SHAFAQNA – Secretary-General of the main opposition group in Bahrain Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Sheikh Ali Salman, said that he wasn’t able to consult his defence panel days before his plea hearing scheduled on October 14, 2015.
On his twitter account, Salman said that he wasn’t able to receive neither the case’s documents, his pleading draft nor the defence panel’s draft, as the prison’s administration and court refused to allow that these papers to be private between Salman and his defence panel.
He added that the prison’s administration said it will hand me the papers only if it read them before hand, stressing that “this violates the privacy between me and the defence panel.”
He further stated that “since the issuing of the preliminary sentence, I was allowed to see my lawyers for two hours only while prevented from my right to use a pen during these two hours. All the demands of the defense panel in the first appeals hearing were rejected, which deprived them of doing their job.”
Sheikh Ali Salman stressed that the defence panel was unable to have a fair trial in the first phase of the lawsuit. “It seems that the situation is worse now while we are in the stage of appeals.”
“I am a prisoner of conscience. I was not allowed to enter a plea myself and the defense panel could not enter my plea as well. I, along with the international human rights organizations, feel that my trial lacks the least standards of a fair trial,” he further stated.
The opposition leader stressed that he will continue to demand the people’s rights to freedom, democracy, and social equality, adhering to the peacefulness of his movement until the ruling party’s monopoly over power comes to an end. “I urge those who demand democracy, freedom and equality to carry on their peaceful struggle for achieving serious and fundamental reform,” Sheikh Salman added.