Bahrain releases prominent opposition leader

Bahraini opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif set free after four years in prison

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Ibrahim Sharif, a well known Bahraini opposition figure, released after four years of imprisonment, he was arrested in 2011 on charges of playing role in protests against the Gulf kingdom.

The release of Sharif was confirmed by the National Democratic Action Society (WAAD) on its twitter account. Sharif was accused of attempting to dethrone Bahrain’s monarchy. 

In March 2011, Sharif invited people to take part in protests for political reform and was convicted by Bahrain’s military in the same year, along with 20 other pro-democracy activists. 
Inspired by the Arab Spring, Bahrain’s Iran-backed Shiite majority launched an uprising against the ruling Sunni monarchy. In 2011 protests by the country’s Shiite Muslim majority were waged in Bahrain calling for more freedom in the country and demanding a constitutional monarchy and more representative government.

The Kingdom currently hosts the US Fifth fleet as well the British Royal Navy which is building a permanent base there.

“More than four years after President Obama called for the release of peaceful opposition leaders in Bahrain, Ibrahim Sharif is finally out,” said Brian Dooley, Program Director of Human Rights First. 

“This is a long overdue move, and he should not have been jailed in the first place,” he added.

On Monday, Another Bahraini opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of plotting and conspiring against the ruling system.

Salman, the leader of Al Wefaq opposition movement, was accused on January of “promoting the overthrow and change of the political regime by force,” but the court dropped that accusation on Wednesday.  

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Bahrain to immediately release Salman and drop all accusations against him, stating the government had “failed” to provide evidence for them. 

TRTWorld and agencies