(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Bahraini scholars issued a statement calling on the men and women of the country to fill mosques in all regions in Bahrain on Saturday night (May 20, 2017), on the eve of scheduled trial of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem on Sunday (May 21, 2017).
“The people highlighted the most magnificent epic in the entire history of Bahrain, in defending their religion. They remained closely tied to the longest popular sit-in in the national history”, the statement said, in reference to the Diraz protest, Bahrain Mirror reported.
The statement added that the regime’s continuous tyranny throughout the years only increased the people’s determination, indicating that “the continuation of this trial only increased the vigor of the people’s will.
Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s banned opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, was stripped of his nationality last June over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote sectarianism and violence. Thousands of Bahrainis have been protesting outside the house of Ayatollah Qassim in Diraz since June 20, 2016, when the authorities revoked his citizenship. The protests have forces the Manama regime to impose strict siege on the village resided by over 20,000 citizens, Alwaght reported.
The Friday statement by Islamic scholars added that the regime's continuous tyranny throughout the years only increased the people's determination, indicating that "the continuation of this trial only increased the vigor of the people's will.
“On the night of the trial against the sect and religion, we call on filling the channels or religion with sacrificing worshippers. May all the mosques of Bahrain in all areas be filled with men and women,” the Bahraini scholars asserted in their statement.
“Be prepared for any moment a religious appeal is issued in the event of any unjust judgement [against Sheikh Isa Qassem],” the statement concluded, stressing that a word of religion is effective.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the al-Khalifa rulers to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, themselves repressive Arab regimes, were deployed to the country to assist Manama in its crackdown on protests. Hundreds of Bahraini activists have been imprisoned and suppressed.
On June 20, Bahraini authorities stripped Sheikh Qassim of his citizenship, less than a week after suspending the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country’s main opposition bloc, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution founded by Qassim, and the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Over the past few weeks, demonstrators have held sit-in protests outside Sheikh Qassim’s home to denounce his citizenship removal.
Bahrain has also sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, another revered opposition cleric, to nine years in prison on charges of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers, which he has denied.
Sheikh Salman was the secretary general of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which was Bahrain’s main opposition bloc before being dissolved by the regime.
Things actually seem to be getting worse. The country’s only remotely critical newspaper, Al Wasat, which was shut down in 2011, has now been ordered by the government to close its online edition too after criticizing the executions.