“When I hear the words of Martin Luther King Jr., I find no disagreement with him”, these words were spoken out by the Bahraini opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, from inside his prison cell where he is being punished for demanding a democratic government and equal rights to all Bahrainis.
Protests around the country have not stopped since the leader’s arrest late 2014.
“I totally agree with what Martin Luther King Jr. said in his struggle for freedom, equality and democracy. Different time and place but the core of the demands in both Martin Luther King’s and the 14 February movements are the same”, he said.
Salman called on supporters of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mandela to support the people of Bahrain who are taking on the struggle for the very same demands as these admired leaders.
He added, “Reading Martin Luther King words about demands for freedom after 50 years seems very much like talking about the struggle of the people of Bahrain. Those who want to understand the demands and dreams of the Bahrainis can read the words of Martin Luther King Jr.”
A group of UN experts issued a statement in which they stated, “The charges appear to stem from the Government’s dissatisfaction with opinions that Sheikh Salman expressed in public speeches and televised interviews, in which he called for the establishment of a democratic regime and for Government accountability”. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also called for the immediate release of Sheikh Ali Salman, expressing its “serious concern” at the arrest, as well as the “continued harassment and imprisonment” of others in Bahrain exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression.