Linking Bahrain opposition to Qatar another false attempt to silence dissent

Linking Bahrain opposition to Qatar another false attempt to silence dissent

The Bahrain Justice and Development Movement (BJDM) completely rejects the fresh charges placed against Sheikh Ali Salman, that accuse him of colluding with Qatar against Bahrain.

A statement carried today accuses Salman of colluding with Qatar to carry out “hostile acts” against Bahrain.

Salman has been imprisoned since December 2014, and was sentenced to four years in prison, accused of inciting hatred and trying to bring down the regime by force. In 2016 the prosecution successfully appealed to have this sentence increased to nine years, although this was later reduced again to four earlier this year.

Since his arrest, the authorities have consistently attempted to increase and harshen his time in prison and BJDM considers this latest move within this context.

Ali Alaswad, former Bahraini MP with Al Wefaq, said:

“Anyone looking at these new charges can see they are completely absurd. There has been no collusion between either Sheikh Ali Salman or any other Al Wefaq member and Qatar against Bahrain. The issues that exist between Qatar and the Gulf states are of no interest to those seeking real democratic change and attempts to drag the opposition into this crisis are unfounded and disingenuous.”

“With Sheikh Ali about to enter the final year of his sentence it comes as no surprise that the authorities would look to make up new accusations against him, to keep him behind bars. Where as previously we were accused of working for Iran now it is Qatar. Whoever is the foreign enemy of the day is routinely linked to the opposition. This shows the outrageous desperation of the Government of Bahrain.”

“We hope that the international community will be able to judge these false allegations as being nothing more than a politicised attempt to continue to shut down opposition in Bahrain. International allies must demand that Bahrain ends its targeting of opposition leaders and activists and starts the road towards genuine democratic reform. Failure to do so should see Bahrain ostracised globally and appropriately criticised.”

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