Bahrain protest

Bahraini clerics call for rallies in solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim

Press TV- Bahraini religious scholars have called on people from all walks of life to participate in nationwide rallies to express their solidarity with prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, whom the Al Khalifah regime has stripped of his citizenship and is set to put on trial.

The clergymen, in a statement released on Saturday and entitled “In Defense of Our Faith and Pride,” urged Bahrainis to take to streets on Sunday in protest at the Manama regime’s ongoing persecution of Shia Muslim majority in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

“We hereby pledge to shed the last drop of our blood in defense of religious and national leader, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim,” the statement read.

It added, “The response to the regime’s bloody and aggressive crackdown is steadfastness, taking to the streets … and showing a strong presence in all peaceful activities.”

The statement further blamed the Al Khalifah regime and its foreign backers for growing instability in Bahrain.

In this file photo, anti-regime protesters hold posters of Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim during a protest organized by Bahrain’s dissolved opposition party al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in Budaiya village, west of Manama, Bahrain. (Photo by Reuters)

“It is a crime to murder people by means of decrees. The head of the state [King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah] and the British security services are fully responsible for such a crime and the prevalent sectarian violence,” the scholars pointed out.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people in Bahrain have voiced their unstinting support for Sheikh Qassim and other imprisoned Shia clerics, vowing to defend their religion and national pride by any means.

Local residents in the villages of Diraz, Karbabad, al-Markh, Sanabis, al-Dair and Eker said they would be clad in shrouds during nationwide rallies on Sunday to make it clear to the ruling Al Khalifah regime that death and threats would not stop their quest for democracy and legitimate demands.

Protesters run for cover as Bahraini regime forces use tear gas in the village of Eker, Bahrain, on January 28, 2017.

On January 26, Manama regime’s mercenaries attacked a sit-in near Sheikh Qassim’s residence in the northwestern village of Diraz, firing live bullets at unarmed protesters.

Bahraini authorities stripped Sheikh Qassim, who is spiritual leader of the al-Wefaq opposition group, of his nationality on June 20, 2016.

They later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the clergyman, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom in February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.