Press TV – Bahraini regime forces have attacked dozens of Shia Muslims commemorating the occasion of Ashura, which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam, as the Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown against peaceful protesters.
On Sunday, the Manama regime’s forces raided the town of A’ali, situated about three kilometers (1.8 miles) southeast of the capital Manama, and fired tear gas canisters to disperse mourners chanting “Labaik Ya Hussain” to invoke the memory of Imam Hussein (PBUH). Dozens of people suffered breathing difficulties, red eyes and wheezing as a result.
Al Khalifah regime’s forces also stormed the village of Diraz, the hometown of distinguished Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, and fired tear gas canisters while using pellet guns to scatter the Shia mourners, who had converged outside the cleric’s residence.
On May 21, a Bahraini court convicted Sheikh Qassim of illegal collection of funds and money laundering, and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three years. It also ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines. The court ruling sparked widespread demonstrations across the kingdom.
Bahraini authorities stripped the cleric of his citizenship on June 20, 2016. They later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by him, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Sunday developments came a day after Al Khalifah regime’s forces arrested eulogist Abdulamir al-Biladi after finishing a Muharram mourning ceremony in the capital.
Human rights activists, requesting anonymity, said al-Biladi was taken to Bab al-Bahrain police station before being transferred to Houra police station.
The activists noted that al-Biladi was arrested after he prayed for the good health of Sheikh Qassim and the release of detained eulogist, Mahdi Sahwan.
Informed sources also told Lualua television news network that Bahraini officials had arrested leaders of three Shia mourning processions in Diraz village.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.