Imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman condemned the ruling issued against the spiritual leader of the country's Shiite population, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, describing it as an "arbitrary sentence," and a "reinforcement of a policy of systematic sectarian oppression and organized targeting of the Shiite community."
During a telephone call, Sheikh Salman said that "it is shameful to see this pious (Islamic) jurist being besieged, his freedom confiscated and the residents of his area harassed while the world watches," holding the authorities accountable for his safety.
Salman paid tribute to the families of the martyrs, who lost their loved ones "in the defense of religion and faith, and the support of the leader," asking God "to heal the wounded" and praying for "the safety of the missing, the release of detainees and security and safety of this homeland."
"May Allah grant you the best of rewards, for you have done your duty to the fullest and you have won eternal happiness," said Salman addressing the martyrs.
Concluding his phone call the opposition leader expressed his condolences to the nation and said: "We sacrifice our lives for you Abu Sami (Sheikh Isa Qassim)...".