SHAFAQNA – The State Department’s spokesperson, John Kirby, has said in a daily press briefing that charges against Sheikh Ali Salman that were brought on the basis of freedom of peaceful expression should be dropped.
Sheikh Salman, Secretary General of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, was sentenced to four years in prison last June for expressing his political opinion.
“We also strongly urge the Government of Bahrain to abide by its commitment to the protection of freedom of expression”, he stated.
Kirby also expressed deep concern by the conviction and sentencing of Sheikh Ali Salman. “As we have consistently said, opposition parties that peacefully voice criticism of the government play a vital role in inclusive, pluralistic states and societies. We believe that no one anywhere should be prosecuted or imprisoned for engaging in peaceful expression or assembly”, he added.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently issued a decision considering Salman as arbitrarily detained.