Bahraini Clerics Call for Nationwide Protests in Solidarity with Sheikh Qassim
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Senior Bahraini clerics called on the people of the country to stage nationwide rallies in solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the Shiite majority, as the Manama regime reportedly plans to issue a verdict against the cleric on Sunday.
In a statement released on Friday, the Bahraini clerics asked the people across the country to pour into the streets in various cities in support of Sheikh Qassim against the Al Khalifa regime forces, local reports said.
The religious scholars called for public vigilance and preparedness to defend the cleric, according to the Arabic-language Lualua TV network.
The leading opposition figure Sheikh Ali Salman, who has been in prison since 2014, also declared his support for the Bahraini clerics’ statement and said targeting Sheikh Qassim is tantamount to targeting the country’s Shiites.
Last month, a Bahraini court delayed the verdict in the case of Sheikh Qassim. The court had earlier set March 14 as the date to issue its ruling but adjourned its decision until May 7.
The Manama regime announced on June 20, 2016, that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim had been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.
The regime later said it would put the senior cleric on trial on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism.”
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.