Bahrain resumes crackdown on al-Wefaq opposition protesters

Published July 10th, 2016 - 07:00 GMT
Bahraini protesters hold a placard bearing the portrait of top Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Issa Qassim, during a protest against the revocation of the clergyman’s citizenship, on June 20, 2016. (AFP/File)
Bahraini protesters hold a placard bearing the portrait of top Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Issa Qassim, during a protest against the revocation of the clergyman’s citizenship, on June 20, 2016. (AFP/File)

Bahraini forces have attacked a group of demonstrators who had taken to the street to denounce Manama’s decision to revoke the citizenship 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, in support of 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 monarchy.

Violence broke out when police 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 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 by Sheikh Qassim.

Since 2011, protesters in Bahrain have held numerous demonstrations calling for the royal family to step down.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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