Opposition leader calls Bahraini regime’s moves against Sheikh Qassim ‘Shameful’

Tasnim – Bahrain’s leading opposition figure Sheikh Ali Salman, who has been in prison since 2014, slammed the Manama regime’s recent attacks on dissidents and moves against Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Shiites in the Arab kingdom, as “shameful”.

In a recent telephone call to his family, Sheikh Salman said the recent jail sentence issued against Sheikh Qassim is a preplanned action by the Al Khalifa regime to intensify its crackdown on Shiites in Bahrain, according to the Arabic-language Lualua TV network.

The Al Khalifa regime’s move to lay a siege to the house of the great cleric and then arrest him before the eyes of the world and impose restrictions on the locals in Diraz is “shameful”, he underlined.

Bahraini officials should be held accountable for sheikh Qassim’s health, the opposition leader added.

In an attack on the supporters of Sheikh Qassim in Diraz on Monday, regime forces shot dead at least six demonstrators, wounded dozens and arrested over 280 people.

The raid followed a Bahraini court ruling on May 21 that sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison. Based on the verdict, the cleric’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) have been also confiscated. Moreover, Sheikh Qassim has been sentenced to pay a fine of 1,000 Bahraini dinars (about $2,650).

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.