Bahrain: Hundreds protest the revoking of Sheikh Qassim’s citizenship

Published June 21st, 2016 - 08:00 GMT
This picture tweeted by Bahrain's leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab shows protesters spending the night outside Sheikh Isa Qassim's home in Diraz, Bahrain on June 20, 2016. (Twitter)
This picture tweeted by Bahrain's leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab shows protesters spending the night outside Sheikh Isa Qassim's home in Diraz, Bahrain on June 20, 2016. (Twitter)

A picture tweeted by Bahrain's human rights activist Nabeel Rajab on Tuesday showed protesters sleeping outside the home in the village of Diraz near the capital Manama.

In the village of Juffair, protesters clashed with security forces which fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the crowd.

The Bahraini regime's decision has raised fears of a further showdown between protesters and security forces in the tiny Persian Gulf island which is already the scene of regular protests.

On Monday, protesters took to the streets in Diraz to vent their anger as the decision against Sheikh Qassim was announced. Some of them wore white funeral shrouds to demonstrate their willingness to die for their cause.

In revoking Sheikh Qassim's citizenship, Bahrain accused him of sowing "sectarianism and violence," blaming him for the protests which have continued for years despite a heavy-handed crackdown on the island's mostly Shia community.

The decision against Sheikh Qassim follows the suspension of Bahrain's main opposition group, al-Wefaq, whose political chief Sheikh Ali Salman is serving a nine-year jail term on charges of inciting violence.

Home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, Bahrain has been in turmoil since a 2011 uprising backed by majority Shias demanding greater civil and political rights from the Saudi-backed monarchy.


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