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Bahraini regime feels threatened by Sheikh Isa Qassim: Pundit

Bahraini demonstrators attend a protest against the revocation of the citizenship of top Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim (portrait), on June 20, 2016 in the village of Diraz, west of Manama. (AFP photo)

Bahraini police forces have fired tear gas at supporters of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, around his residence in the western Diraz region in a bid to disperse the crowd and break into the cleric’s house. After the clash on Wednesday, Al Khalifah regime’s forces handed a warrant to the top cleric to appear in court.

Jalal Fairooz, former Bahraini legislator from London, told Press TV’s Top 5 that the Bahraini regime tries to put pressure on Sheikh Isa Qassim, because Al Khalifah is afraid of the cleric’s important position among the Bahraini people.

The Al Khalifah regime feels being threatened by the influence of the top cleric, “because Sheikh Isa Qassim is a spiritual leader for the Bahrainis – at least for 70 percent or more of the Bahrainis,” Fairooz said on Wednesday.

According to the former lawmaker, “He (Sheikh Qassim) has been standing very strongly against atrocities and violations [by the regime], asking for democracy and dignity for the Bahraini people. That’s why the regime considers him as a threat.”

The regime has revoked the prominent cleric’s citizenship. Sheikh Qassim “has been put on trial” and for that reason the Bahraini people have gathered around his residence and staged a 24/7 sit-in to protect the Bahraini spiritual leader.

The Wednesday raid by armed forces has left at least “three people injured severely” and other supporters have suffered suffocation, Fairooz added.

Thousands of Bahraini people poured into Diraz streets and blocked highways leading up to Sheikh Qassim’s residence, he said, noting that the resistance of Bahrainis has prompted the regime’s decision-makers to cancel the top cleric’s arrest.

Anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country on February 14, 2011. The protesters demand that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power.

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