Bahrainis demonstrate to see Sheikh Salman release

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SHAFAQNA - Bahraini protesters have once again taken to the streets to express their resentment with the continued detention of the leading opposition figure and Shia cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman. 

Demonstrators held a rally in the northwestern village of Diraz, situated about 12 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the capital, Manama, following Friday prayers, demanding the release of Salman, who heads Bahrain’s main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society. 

The marchers, carrying portraits of Salman and Bahrain’s national flags, also called for the immediate release of all political dissidents currently being held in Al Khalifa regime’s detention facilities. 

Similar demonstrations were also staged in other parts of Bahrain, including the village of Musalla, which lies on the western outskirts of the capital, Manama. The protesters stated that they will press ahead with their drive to restore the rights of people and establish democracy in Bahrain. 

Moreover, Bahraini protesters held rallies in Manama as well as the village of al-Daih, located six kilometers (3.7 miles) west of the capital, late on Thursday in solidarity with all political prisoners. 

People also held similar rallies in the town of A’ali and Karrana village, where demonstrators carried photos of inmates and chanted slogans against King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and the Bahraini regime’s reprisal policy against the dissidents. 

Salman was detained on December 28, 2014 on charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the incumbent regime and collaboration with foreign powers.’ He has strongly denied the charges, emphasizing that he has been seeking reforms in the kingdom through peaceful means. 

On June 16, a Bahraini court sentenced Salman to four years in prison on charges such as insulting the Interior Ministry and inciting others to break the law. He was acquitted of seeking regime change. 

Earlier this month, the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) renewed calls on the Manama regime to immediately release the al-Wefaq leader. 

Anti-regime protesters have been holding demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power. 

The ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations has left scores of Bahrainis dead and hundreds of others injured.

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