Bahraini protesters have taken to the streets across the country to condemn a regime raid on prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim’s home.
On Wednesday night, protests were held in various locations across the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, including Sanabes, Karbabad, Karzakan and Barbar, in support of the cleric and all other political prisoners.
Earlier in the day, clashes broke out between regime forces trying to gain entry to Qassim’s home and protesters taking part in a sit-in outside Qassim’s home in the village of Diraz.
The sit-in protest outside the cleric’s home has entered its 185th day, after beginning on June 20, when Bahraini authorities stripped the 79-year-old cleric of his citizenship over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote sectarianism and violence. Sheikh Qassim has denied the allegations.
The stripping of Qassim’s citizenship took place less than a week after suspending the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country’s main opposition bloc, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the senior cleric, and the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Thousands of 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.
Manama’s heavy-handed crackdown on demonstrations, aided by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has left scores of people dead and hundreds more injured.