Bahrain’s top cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim has called on the Al-Khalifa rulers to immediately release political prisoners because such an issue “cannot be postponed” until the Bahraini parliament is ready.
In a statement carried by Bahrain Mirror, Sheikh Qassim criticized human rights violations of the Bahraini regime, saying the realization of such rights cannot be “postponed or delayed until the parliament gets prepared and an agreed-upon constitution [is reached].”
He maintained that to mend the political relationship between the Bahraini people and the government, “there must be a fair electoral law agreed upon by the government and the opposition, a parliament elected in a free popular election, and an agreed-upon constitution.”
Sheikh Qassim further added that restoring Bahrainis’ rights, preparing the electoral law, holding parliamentary elections and agreeing on the constitution must begin quickly and simultaneously.
This comes as Bahrain’s main opposition group Al-Wefaq renewed its call for the release of political prisoners being kept behind bars inside the kingdom’s jails.
Bahrain has come under pressure from human rights organizations over prison conditions, including overcrowding, poor sanitation and lack of medical care.