• Bahrain opposition leader sentence to four years in prison
  • Shia groups denounce verdict

Al-Wefaq’s leader Sheikh Ali Salman, who was arrested in late 2014, has been handed a four year prison sentence for “inciting hatred against the regime and threatening national security”, according to a Bahraini court.

Salman was who joined Shia-dominated protests in the capital on 26 December, has been part of opposing voices calling for the dismissal of the government.

In a statement, Al-Wefaq described Salman’s arrest as “a perilous and arbitrary adventure, which will seriously complicate the political and security scene in Bahrain”.

Salman was confirmed as the group’s head in its general congress on 26 December 2014.

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.

Economy key to social stability as dependence on Saudi Arabia grows

Despite thousands of people taking to the streets of Manama in 2011 to call for social justice and political reform, the gulf state’s Shia population seems to have subdued its calls for change.

Manama’s streets now look like its regional counterparts, with the island nation increasingly stabilised despite a disenfranchised Shia majority.

MEED talks with opposition group Al-Wefaq’s secretary-general, Khalil al-Marzooq, in the group’s headquarters near the US Embassy in Manama to understand what happened to the revolution that never was. Read more

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