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Bahrain

Bahrainis Take to Streets Urging Freedom of Sheikh Salman

Bahraini people, in a fresh round of demonstrations across the tiny Persian Gulf Island, renewed call for the freedom of main opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, who is the secretary general of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

Bahraini people protested the detention of Salman in the area of al-Musalla in the Western part of the capital, Manama, in the village of Nuwaidrat near the Northeastern island of Sitra, and in the city of Muharraq on Sunday.

The protesters also called for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including the 49-year-old secretary general of the al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s main opposition bloc.

Salman was detained last December on charges including seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers. He denied the charges during his first court hearing on January 28.

His arrest has triggered condemnation inside and outside Bahrain, with leaders, governments and international organizations across the world calling for his immediate release.

Salman’s trial, initially scheduled for April 22, has been adjourned until May 20.

Additionally, protesters formed a human chain in the village of Abu Sabi’ to express outrage over the Al Khalifa regime’s heavy-handed measures in dealing with political activists.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.

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