Bahrain regime forces attack supporters of top Shia cleric

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Sunday, 10 July 2016

Bahraini forces have attacked a group of demonstrators who had taken to the street to denounce Manama’s decision to revoke the nationality of prominent Shia Muslim cleric, Sheikh Issa Qassim.

On Saturday, dozens of protesters staged a rally in al-Eker village south of the capital, Manama, to voice their solidarity with the 79-year-old spiritual leader of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

They chanted slogans in support of Sheikh Qassim and in condemnation of the ruling dynasty.

Violence broke out when regime forces intervened, firing shots and using tear gas to disperse the crowd. There no immediate reports of casualties or possible arrests.

Elsewhere in the northwestern village of Diraz, situated about 12 kilometers (seven miles) west of the capital, scores of people participated in a sit-in outside the residence of Sheikh Qassim.

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.

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.

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