Dozens of Shia Muslim clerics have staged a gathering in Bahrain to express their support for distinguished religious figure Sheikh Issa Qassim and denounce the Al Khalifah regime’s decision to revoke his nationality.
On Saturday, the religious figures called on authorities to reinstate the citizenship of the 79-year-old Shia cleric, saying such a move would boost the country’s stability and security, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
The protesting Shia clerics also said they will not remain silent in the face of the Bahraini regime’s aggressions and hostilities.
They further called on regime authorities to cancel the lockdown on the northwestern village of Diraz, situated west of the capital, Manama, which has been in effect for more than a month.
Additionally, Britain-based opposition groups urged the Bahraini nation to reaffirm their support for Sheikh Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
They argued, in a statement published on Saturday, that the ruling Al Khalia dynasty is suppressing the political dissent through the Al Saud regime’s political and intelligence support, and with Washing and London’s full consent.
On June 20, Bahraini authorities stripped Sheikh Issa Qassim of his citizenship less than a week after the country’s Justice Ministry suspended al-Wefaq and dissolved opposition al-Risala Islamic Association and Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded Sheikh Qassim.
Bahrain’s so-called administrative court later ordered the dissolution of al-Wefaq and the seizure of its funds.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — themselves repressive Arab regimes — were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protests.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists.