The Washington-based Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) called for the immediate release of Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, accusing Manama of violating his rights to liberty, fair trial, free expression, and free association.
Sheikh Salman, who is already serving a 4-year prison term, was charged with "spying for the state of Qatar" last November.
ADHRB explains that the charges in the case "stem from an open and well-documented mediation attempt originally encouraged by the US during the 2011 unrest, which resulted in preliminary communications between Qatar - as a potential mediator - and the Bahraini government and opposition."
On Tuesday, a Manama court adjourned the opposition leader's trial until June 21 when a final verdict is expected.
The prosecution has called for the "maximum penalty," and ADHRB is warning that in this case that could translate into the death sentence.
"The groundless new trial of Sheikh Salman and his codefendants comes as part of the government's wider assault on independent political and civil society ahead of the 2018 elections for Bahrain's lower house of parliament," the rights group added.
Manama has already dissolved Bahrain's major opposition parties including Sheikh Salman's Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
According to ADHRB, "these actions have all but closed political space in Bahrain, leaving virtually no opposition remaining as the election approaches."
Source: Lualua TV English, Edited by website team