Rights groups condemn Manama’s treatment of Sheikh Isa Qassim

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Rights groups have condemned Manama’s treatment of Sheikh Isa Qassim calling on the regime to provide the ailing cleric with “adequate medical care”.

SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights voiced its “absolute concern” over Sheikh Qassim’s deteriorating health and urged Manama to free him from house arrest.

The group also demanded that the charges against him be dropped and his citizenship reinstated.

Sheikh Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s highest religious authority, was arbitrarily stripped of his nationality in June 2016. In response, his supporters organized a peaceful sit-in around his home in Diraz. But on May 23, security forces launched a bloody attack on the sit-in, killing five protesters and placing Sheikh Qassim under house arrest.

His health has dramatically deteriorated since then and he is now in need of urgent medical attention.

The Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) warned that Manama is “playing with fire”.

“Denying adequate medical care and placing under house arrest Bahrain’s most senior religious figure, despite his advanced age and ill-health, tells you everything about the rulers’ cruelty and lack of human compassion,” Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said.

“This disregard could have major unintended consequences which the government is not considering,” he added.


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