...Members of the so-called February 14 youth movement also say they will reject any dialogue until the government releases all of its political prisoners, a group which includes Ibrahim Sharif, the leader of Wa’ad, and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a human rights activist who has spent nearly six weeks on a hunger strike.
They were arrested last year and convicted in a trial which Amnesty International has said did not meet basic standards of due process. “The people who would speak for me in this dialogue, they’re all in prison,” said one activist.
Leaders of Al Wefaq and other parties say they’re willing to resume talks without any preconditions, but acknowledge that political prisoners must be released for those talks to have any legitimacy with activists.
“If we want this dialogue to have a positive reflection on the streets, then the [political] prisoners should be consulted, they should be released,” Fairouz said. “This is not a precondition. But by the end of the dialogue, they must be released.”
The issue of political prisoners is one of more than two dozen recommendations in the BICI report, which urged the government to review the convictions of anyone “charged with offences involving political expression.”...