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Bahrain Top Court Rejects Release of Wefaq Chief | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ali Salman Secretary-General of the Al-Wefaq political society. / Reuters

Manama- Bahrain’s Court of Cassation rejected yesterday a request from the defendants of the secretary-general of Al Wefaq organization, Ali Salman, to turn down an appeal to suspend the implementation of his jail terms.

The court set October 17 as a new date to examine Salman’s sentence. Salman’s case started at the end of 2014.

General Advocate Haroon Alzayani said the Court of Cassation today considered the objection raised by the secretary-general of one of the political organizations, in the sentence issued against him on several charges, sentencing him to nine years of prison for promoting a forceful overthrow of the political regime, threats, incitement of disobedience, instigating hatred against a specific set of people and publicly defaming an official agency.

Alzayani added that the Public Prosecution requested the court to turn down the defendant’s appeal to suspend the implementation of his jail terms. He said the Court of Cassation had ruled by rejecting the defendant’s appeal, retaining the case until the issuance of its verdict on October 17.

On May 30, the Bahraini Appeal Court had issued a verdict sentencing Salman to nine years of prison. The court’s verdict revoked a previous verdict issued in 2015, sentencing Salman to four years in prison on charges of inciting hatred and disobedience and insulting public institutions.

In the May verdict, Salman was charged of calling for regime change by force.

Salman was first arrested in December 2014. His group, Al Wefaq has been already dissolved by a court order over accusations of sheltering terrorism.

Separately, Bahrain’s cabinet approved on Monday a draft decree on cancelling the Information Affairs Authority (IAA), and granting all its terms of reference to the Ministry of Information Affairs.

During a session held at the Gudaibiya palace, the cabinet also endorsed a draft-decree on restructuring the Information Affairs Ministry to include an undersecretary, three assistant undersecretaries and nine directorates.

In 2010, a decree by Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa abolished the country’s information ministry, setting up instead a media authority.

In 2012, the King restored the portfolio of Information Minister back in the government lineup when he appointed Sameera Rajab a state minister for information affairs.