TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The secretary general of Iraq’s al-Nujaba Movement condemned as a violation of human rights and Islamic values the Al Khalifa regime’s move to keep Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, under house arrest.
In a message following reports about Sheikh Qassim’s deteriorating health condition, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi lashed out at the Al Saud and Al Khalifa regimes for putting the popular Bahraini cleric under house arrest, which has endangered his health.
The cruel siege on Sheikh Qassim’s house is a blatant violation of all Islamic and humanitarian values and principles, Kaabi added.
He also emphasized that the Muslim world would not remain silent about the risk to Sheikh Qassim’s health.
The Al Khalifa regime announced in June 2016 that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.
The regime later said it would put the senior cleric on trial on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism.”
But Sheikh Qassim did not appear in any of the court sessions.
In May, the regime forces stormed into the residence of Sheikh Qassim in the village of Diraz, arresting everyone inside the house. At least five people were reportedly killed in the raid, and over 280 others were arrested.
Since then, the senior cleric has been under house arrest.
The raid came a few days after a Bahraini court sentenced Sheikh Qassim to one year in prison. Based on the verdict, the cleric’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) were also confiscated.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.