Bahrain’s opposition is calling for GCC nations to put more pressure on the country’s leaders as the nation cracks down on dissent.

“The GCC needs to recognise that a proper political dialogue in Bahrain is important for the region’s unity,” said Khalil Ebrahim Almarzooq, a spokesperson for the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the largest political party in Bahrain.

Bahrain has seen daily protests at multiple sites across the country in the wake of the imprisonment of Al-Wefaq leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, a Twelver Shia cleric who went on trial on 28 January.

Prosecutors say Salman has promoted the overthrow of the political regime by force and supported attacks that caused the deaths of 14 police officers.

Al-Wefaq says there is no legal basis for the charges against Salman. It says Bahrain’s ruling family has failed to follow through on promises to reform the political system made in 2001.

On 31 January, Bahrain revoked the nationality of 72 citizens, including journalists, bloggers and human rights activists, claiming they had engaged in activities that damaged national security.

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