Sheikh Ali Salman
Sheikh Ali Salman is the Secretary-General of the Al-Wefaq political society in Bahrain and a Twelver Shi’a cleric.
Salman was arrested in December 2014 after leading a protest rally against parliamentary elections in November, which his party boycotted. Salman was arrested on charges including inciting a change of government by force. He denied the charges during his first court hearing on January 28, 2015.
Al-Wefaq was founded in 2002, a year after Bahrain announced political reforms, in which the country became a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and an independent judiciary. Al-Wefaq has long complained that the government politically and economically discriminates against the Shia population.
Salman’s trial has been adjourned until May 20 2015. The UN released a statement on February 4, 2015 calling for Salman’s release.
- Bahrainis hold fresh mass rallies A march was held just outside of Manama, the capital of Bahrain, to demand the release of Sheikh Ali Salman and other imprisoned activists (February 20, 2016, PressTV).
- Trial of Bahrain’s ‘Sheikh Ali Salman’ Postponed Until April 11, Sheikh Ali Salman’s sixth trial hearing has been adjourned until April 11, 2016 (March 16, 2016, ABNA World Services).
- Congressman Jim McGovern released a public statement calling on Bahrain for his release (May 27, 2016).
- Salmans's sentence has been increased from four years to nine years in prison. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Powers urged for the release of Salman (June 5, 2016, ABNA; June 6, 2016, ALWEFAQ).
- Bahrain's high court reduced Salman's sentence overturning a nine-year prison sentence imposed last year (April 13, 2017, Amnesty International).