SHAFAQNA – Bahrains prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Ahmed Qassem reiterated that Bahrainis will not give up their demands, including their call for the release of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman. “The faithful nation of Bahrain will never retreat from their demands,” Sheikh Qassem said in a statement, adding that Bahraini people have made many sacrifices so far and that their determination will not be deflected by difficulties, problems and costs. He further criticized the continued detention of Sheikh Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition party al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and described it as an indication that the Al Khalifa regime has no intention of introducing reform.
He underlined that Sheikh Slaman’s detention and trial are not in the interest of the country and will not cause Bahrainis to forget their leader. Salman was arrested in late December 2014 over alleged anti-regime incitements. The 49-year-old cleric is charged with “promoting regime change by force, threats, and illegal means, and of insulting the Interior Ministry publicly.” The arrest is part of the Al Khalifah regime’s brutal suppression of anti-regime protesters since 2011. Scores of people have been killed and thousands more wounded during the crackdown. The regime has also detained many protesters.