Bahraini Opposition Figure Calls Planned Trial of Sheikh Qassim ‘Illegal’
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior member of Al-Wafa’a Islamic Party, a Bahraini opposition group, condemned the Al Khalifa regime for its decision to put prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim on trial, describing the planned trial as “illegal”.
“In case the Bahraini regime seeks to try prominent cleric Sheikh Qassim, he will never attend court hearings because he regards them as politically-motivated,” Seyed Morteza al-Sendi said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday.
He added that the regime is resorting to psychological warfare to force Sheikh Qassim into exile, while the top cleric insists on living inside his country.
Bahrain’s judicial system is political and dependent, Sendi said, adding that verdicts issued by the system are based on the political situation of the country.
Sheikh Qassim will reportedly go on trial in August for alleged “money laundering” amid simmering tensions after the Manama regime decided to revoke his nationality.
The regime announced on June 20 that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.
Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters.