Press Shia Agency – The representative of Ayatollah Isa Qasim, in Iran said the Al Khalifah regime is seeking to legitimize its heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful protests and target religious leaders, Ayatollah Qasim in particular, by changing the constitution.

Press Shia Agency – Hujjat al-Islam Abdullah al-Daqqaq highlighted the Manama regime’s main objective behind its decision to change the constitution, saying it seems that the move is targeting Ayatollah Qasim and Bahraini dissidents.

“The Bahraini rulers are seeking to legitimize their repression of the people and claim that they are acting in accordance with the Persian Gulf country’s constitution,” the cleric added.

The representative of prominent Bahraini cleric, Ayatollah Isa Ahmad Qasim, in Iran said the Al Khalifah regime thinks it can end the popular uprising by the move but the Bahraini nation’s movement is growing and will become more powerful.

Earlier this month, Bahrain approved a constitutional change allowing military courts to try civilians.

Activists warn the amendment will allow an undeclared state of martial law on the Persian Gulf island.

The uprising in Bahrain began on February 14, 2011. Protesters initially called for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy. However, the demand later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the Al Khalifah family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

Scores of people have been killed in the crackdown and security forces have arrested hundreds. Dozens of demonstrators have also been sentenced to jail terms for attending street protests.

International human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the Manama regime for its excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.