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Tom Lantos HR Commission Co-Chair Calls on Bahrain to Release Sheikh Ali Salman

2016-05-29 - 9:44 p

Bahrain Mirror: Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, called on the government of Bahrain to release opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

"Sheikh Salman's imprisonment is inconsistent with the Bahraini government's promises of political reform, and makes an eventual inclusive political settlement less likely," said Congressman McGovern in a press release issued on May 27, 2016. "The Bahraini authorities have a chance on Monday to reverse the Sheikh's conviction, and they should take it," he added.

Last February the U.S. State Department urged the Sheikh's release, and argued that it is important for the government of Bahrain and opposition groups to work together to implement reforms to bring Bahrain into compliance with its international human rights obligations. "Bahrain must improve its human rights record," McGovern stressed. "Releasing the Sheikh would be an important step forward," he said.

Sheikh Salman, the Secretary General of the Al-Wefaq political society in Bahrain, was detained in December 2014 after delivering a series of peaceful speeches calling for political reform. In June 2015, he was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of insulting the Bahraini Interior Ministry and inciting others to break the law, and is jailed in the infamous Jaw Prison. The Sheikh has appealed his conviction, and a verdict is expected this coming Monday.

Sheikh Ali Salman is recognized as a prisoner of conscience with the Defending Freedoms Project, an initiative of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Amnesty International USA.

Tags: Sheikh Ali Salman, US, Sheikh Ali Salman Arres, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

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