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Bahrain’s top Shia cleric calls for constitutional rule to replace Al Khalifah regime

Bahrain's most prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim delivers a televised speech broadcast live from the north-central Iranian city of Qom on February 13, 2022.

Bahrain's most prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim has called for the establishment of a democratic and constitutional system to replace the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty in the Persian Gulf country.

“The Bahraini nation’s demands are of paramount importance. Bahrainis will carry on with their popular uprising until their demands are fully accommodated,” Sheikh Qassim said on Sunday evening as he delivered a televised speech broadcast live from the north-central Iranian city of Qom.

He asked people from all strata of Bahrain’s society to demonstrate perseverance and remain steadfast and united in their struggle against the unjust and arbitrary measures of the Al Khalifah regime.

“Faithful peoples will exercise patience in their struggle against oppression. Nobody could emerge triumphant by sitting idly by. Victory can only be achieved through unity and solidarity,” the senior Bahraini cleric stated.

Sheikh Qassim also urged Bahraini people to preserve unity as they fight the oppressive political system in the country and tread the path towards democracy.

“There is no solution to the ongoing political crisis in Bahrain in the absence of a democratic constitution. The ruling [Al Khalifah] regime’s insistence on the policy of injustice will only open up rifts and create deep social divisions. Bahrain must be set free from the shackles of oppression.” 

Sheikh Qassim finally said drawing up a new constitution is the only way out of the political crisis in Bahrain. He pointed to the need for the replacement of the Al Khalifah monarchical regime with a democratic rule.

Bahraini opposition groups have called for mass participation in rallies marking the eleventh anniversary of the February 14 uprising.

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011.

The participants demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure censured by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to the imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

King Hamad ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.

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