NGOs Call for the Immediate Release of Al-Wefaq GS Shaikh Ali Salman

On 28 December 2014, Bahraini authorities arrested Shaikh Ali Salman, Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq Political Society. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Americans for Democracy for Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) strongly condemn the Bahraini government’s detention of Shaikh Salman for his peaceful political activities and his work as a leader of the largest opposition political party in Bahrain.

On the morning of 28 December, Shaikh Ali Salman went to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after receiving a summons from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) following the conclusion of Al-Wefaq’s General Assembly conference, which the MOI had banned.
The CID refused his lawyers entry twice before eventually granting one lawyer access to Shaikh Salman’s interrogation. Shaikh Ali Salman and his lawyer were told that the CID would transfer him to the Office of the Public Prosecution. However, according to available information, he was never taken to the Public Prosecution and the MOI has ordered his ongoing detention.
In July 2014, Tom Malinowski, United States Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, met with Al-Wefaq members in the society’s headquarters. In response, the Government of Bahrain expelled Malinowski and filed a lawsuit against Al-Wefaq, again summoning Shaikh Salman and al-Marzooq for interrogation. On 28 October, a court issued an order to suspend Al-Wefaq from performing any activities until it rectified the illegal status of its general assemblies.


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