Bahrain: opposition leader detained after demonstration

Ali Salman head of Al-Wefaq group. 56 arbitrary arrests, BCHR

29 December, 18:00

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, DECEMBER 29 - Yesterday Bahraini authorities detained Shaikh Ali Salman, the recently re-elected head of the kingdom's main opposition group Al-Wefaq, Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) reports today.

    His arrest comes after he led a peaceful rally near the capital city of Manama on Friday in protest against last month's general elections, which the opposition boycotted. The Ministry of Interior is accusing Al-Salman of inciting hatred against the government and calling for its overthrow by force.

    After Al Salman was detained by criminal investigators, scattered clashes broke out on the streets Sunday evening between protesters and government forces, which led to 56 arbitrary arrests, including 5 children, BCHR also reports.

    Since last week, human rights defender Nader Abdulimam has been facing further charges for founding the human rights organization 'Ensaf'. Abdulemam has been serving a six-months prison sentence since August 2014 for "publicly insulting a religious figure of worship". The new charges against him are a clear violation of the principles of human rights, especially those relating to freedom of expression, peaceful work and establishing civil society organizations.

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that Nader Abdelimam is being targeted because of his high-profile human rights activism online and on his blog. Further, the BCHR joined with several other NGOs to express strong concern over the extradition of Bahraini citizen Ali Haroun from an immigration detention center in Thailand into the custody of authorities in Bahrain last week. There is strong concern that he will be further abused by the authorities as he reportedly was in 2013 during a previous arrest and detention.

    Last week, the BCHR was able to document a total of 56 arbitrary arrests, including 5 children under the age of 18. Five individuals was confirmed as released, leaving more than 3000 prisoners in arbitrary detention. (ANSAmed).

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