Bahrain has charged a prominent opposition leader with “inciting hatred” against the Manama regime after his interview with The Associated Press during a visit by Britain’s Prince Charles to the Persian Gulf country.
In the Friday interview, Ebrahim Sharif of the Waad party voiced fears that Charles’ visit may “whitewash” Bahrain’s ongoing crackdown against dissent. He also suggested that the regime should agree on a power-sharing system with political parties to counter the worsening financial pressure resulting from low oil prices.
On Sunday, Bahrain’s public prosecution released at statement announcing that it had questioned an unnamed person over recent remarks made to the foreign press.
“The public prosecution ordered his release after charging him with openly inciting hatred of the political system in Bahrain and with contempt,” noted the statement.
Following the statement, the Waad party and Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy confirmed that the unnamed person had been Sharif.
“Prince Charles was criticized for participating in a blatant PR exercise for the Bahraini regime..Now in connection to his visit, Bahrain is prosecuting Ebrahim Sharif,” said the rights’ groups spokesman Sayed Alwadaei.
Manama has spared no effort to clamp down on the dissent and rights activists. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown on anti-regime activists.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.