TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Bahraini clerics slammed the Manama regime’s measure to lay siege to the village of Diraz – where prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim’s house is located- as a brazen crime, calling for an immediate lifting of the blockade.

In a statement, the clerics said the Al Khalifa regime has imposed a blockade on Diraz for the purpose of “defeating people” and dissuading them from pursuing their legitimate demands, according to al-Manar TV.

While the siege of Diraz has been in place for 200 days, residents of the neighborhood are prepared to withstand even worse conditions, the statement added, calling on the Arab and Islamic world and international organizations to show reaction to such a cruel blockade.

The Manama regime forces have placed barricades at more than 20 entrances to Diraz, barring even the shipment of fresh water and foodstuff from entering the village.

A sit-in that supporters of Sheikh Qassim have staged in front of his house to protect him against the regime forces has now entered its seventh month.

The Manama regime announced on June 20, 2016, that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.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 has not appeared in any of the court sessions in the past months.

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.