TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa should be held accountable for the health condition of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Shiites in the Arab kingdom, a member of the presiding board of Bahrain’s Ulema (scholars) Council said.
Speaking the Press Shia News Agency, Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Khojasteh denounced the Bahraini regime forces’ recent move to extensively surround the house of Sheikh Qassim and said the top cleric’s health situation is critical.
He said that after several months of house arrest of Sheikh Qassim, local sources have reported that the cleric’s health condition is deteriorating and that he needs urgent medical treatment.
Sheikh Khojasteh further emphasized that the Bahraini government and the king should be held accountable for the health situation of Sheikh Qassim.
Bahraini security forces have extensively surrounded the house of Sheikh Qassim in Diraz, west of Manama, media reports said on Sunday.
The cleric was stripped of his citizenship in June last year over accusations that he had used his position to serve foreign interests and promote sectarianism and violence. The cleric was handed a suspended one-year prison term and ordered to pay a fine.
The ruling against the prominent Shiite cleric also sparked widespread protests and condemnations.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.
Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters.