Bahrainis Hold Anti-Regime Rally in Support of Sheikh Qassim (+Photos)

News ID: 1412852 Service: World
بحرین

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Dozens of Bahraini people on Friday took to the streets in the restive town of Diraz to express their solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the Shiite majority, as Manama plans to declare a court ruling against the cleric on May 21.

The Bahraini demonstrators marched in Diraz, west of Manama, near the house of Sheikh Qassim, to voice their outrage over the ruling Al Khalifa regime’s crackdown on dissidents, particularly the prominent cleric, local reports said.

The protesters emphasized that they will defend Sheikh Qassim to death.

The massive rally came as a Bahraini court that had planned to declare the ruling against Sheikh Qassim on May 7 said it will be announced on May 21.

In March, the 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The Manama regime announced on June 20, 2016, that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim had been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.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 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.

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