TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Bahraini opposition figure described the trial of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim as a ploy by the Al Khalifa to avoid the consequences of a scandal caused by revocation of the cleric’s citizenship and avoid more disgrace to the ruling family.
Any dictatorial regime seeks to prevent damage to the prestige of its rulers, and that is why the Al Khalifa has decided to put Sheikh Qassim on trial as a way out of a crisis that erupted after the popular cleric was stripped of his Bahraini citizenship, Rashed al-Rashed said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
While the Manama regime assumed it could knock down the opposition by targeting a leader as great as Sheikh Isa Qassim, the revolution was emboldened by the move instead, he added.
Rashed noted that the Manama regime’s move against Sheikh Qassim has backfired and caused problems for the regime, since it drew widespread international condemnation and impaired the legitimacy of Al Khalifa in the eyes of public.
The Al Khalifa regime announced on June 20 that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.
Manama was planning to hold the first session of the top cleric’s trial on Wednesday, but it was adjourned until August 14 after the prominent figure did not appear in court.
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.
By Tasnim News Agency