Press Shia – Imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman condemned the ruling issued against the country’s prominent opposition cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, describing it as an “arbitrary sentence,” and a “reinforcement of a policy of systematic sectarian oppression and organized targeting of the Shiite community.”

Press Shia Agency – During a telephone call, Sheikh Salman said that "it is shameful to see this pious jurist being besieged, his freedom confiscated and the residents of his area harassed while the world watches," holding the authorities accountable for his safety, Bahrain Mirror reported.

 

Salman paid tribute to the families of people who lost their loved ones "in the defense of religion and faith, and the support of the leader," asking God "to heal the wounded" and praying for "the safety of the missing, the release of detainees and security and safety of this homeland."

 

"May Allah grant you the best of rewards, for you have done your duty to the fullest and you have won eternal happiness," said Salman addressing the martyrs.

 

Concluding his phone call the opposition leader expressed his condolences to the nation  while in an apparent reference to Sheikh Isa Qassim said: "We sacrifice our lives for you Abu Sami…."

 

Bahraini clerics hailed the endeavors made by anti-government protesters who resist the Al Khalifah regime's heavy crackdown on dissent, saying their struggle to save their religion has just started.

 

"The battle for the defense of religion is not over, it has just started," the Bahraini clerics said in a statement released on Friday, adding that Islam and their Persian Gulf island country needed those who would "sacrifice" their lives for this cause, presstv reported.

 

The statement came three days after the Al Khalifah regime launched a full-scale military raid on the Northwestern village of Diraz, situated some 12 kilometers West of the capital Manama, to suppress a growing protest staged in solidarity with the top cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain's Shiite majority.

 

During the raid in Diraz, Qassim's hometown, regime forces killed at least five demonstrators, wounded dozens and arrested over 280 people during the crackdown, which took place shortly after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

 

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