MANAMA, 2nd June, 2016 (WAM) — Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stressed that the sentence handed down to Ali Salman on May 30th was based on convictions for inciting violence and hatred.

According to the Bahrain News Agency, BNA, the defendant was found guilty of giving hate speeches and inciting violence against Bahraini police publicly.

The charges were not at all related to any political views he may hold. The right to freedom of expression is clearly enshrined in Bahrain’s constitution and guaranteed by Bahraini law.

The defendant’s sentencing followed a full, independent and transparent trial, attended by numerous observers, including representatives from foreign embassies and NGOs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all parties to respect the integrity and independence of the judiciary.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirms that the defendant has the right to appeal the sentence in accordance with due process as guaranteed by the criminal justice laws in the Kingdom.