In a message addressed to participants of the 11th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue, a security conference in the Bahraini capital, Sheikh Ali Salman said the Bahraini people are living under pressures of “a security fist”.
Most of the people have been deprived of security and are paying heavy costs for their demands for democracy and respect for human rights, the prominent cleric noted.
“We ask all of you to call on the Bahraini government to address the nation’s legitimate and fair demands,” Sheikh Salman stated.
IISS Manama Dialogue opened on Friday, October 30, and will last until Sunday, November 1, in the Western-allied kingdom.
Sheikh Salman was arrested in late December 2014 over alleged anti-regime incitements. Manama had accused him of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers.
In a statement read out by Switzerland to the UN Human Rights Council earlier last month, 32 countries expressed deep concern about Bahrain’s human rights record, urging the Manama regime to protect the right to peaceful assembly and address reports of torture.
A four-year jail sentence was handed to Sheikh Salman on political charges on June 16.
Insulting Bahrain’s interior ministry and calling for defiance of the Arab country’s laws, were among the charges for which a Bahraini court sentenced him to prison.