Putting Sheikh Qassim on Trial to Accelerate Fall of Bahraini Regime: Cleric
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts condemned Manama for a decision to put prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim on trial, predicting that the move will speed up the collapse of the Al Khalifa regime.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Ayatollah Ali Malakouti pointed to the possibility that Sheikh Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, will be put on trial in coming days, and said such a move by the Manama regime would be “contrary to religion and humanity”.
If the Al Khalifa regime makes the brazen move to try him, “the absurdity and stupidity of the regime will be proved to the world,” the cleric said.
Malakouti added that the trial of Sheikh Qassim will make people’s blood boil and accelerate the extinction of the “hollowed out state”.
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The regime announced on June 20 that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.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.