Bahraini people have held a protest to condemn the ruling Al Khalifah regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on political dissidents.
The protesters took to the streets in the northern villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhora, west of the capital Manama, on Friday evening and shouted anti-regime slogans.
They also vented their anger at a move by the regime to place top Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim under house arrest. The protesters described as illegal the siege of the northwestern village of Diraz, where Qassim’s residence is located. The cleric has been living under virtual siege since Manama revoked his citizenship in June 2016, prompting protests and sit-ins in his home town. Bahraini authorities later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by him, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
In May 2017, a Bahraini court convicted Sheikh Qassim of illegal collection of funds and money laundering, and sentenced him to one year in jail.
It also ordered him to pay $265,266 in fine. The court ruling sparked widespread demonstrations across the country.
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 that the Al Khalifah regime 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.