Dozens of people have taken to the streets across Bahrain to express solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim, who was recently stripped of his citizenship, as well as jailed activists and political prisoners.
Protesters demonstrated in Bilad al-Qadeem, a suburb of the capital, Manama, al-Musalla Village, the north-central village of Bu Quwah, the northwestern village of Diraz, and the town of A’ali, on Tuesday evening, chanting slogans against the ruling Al Khalifah regime in condemnation of the measure against the 79-year-old clergyman.
The protesters also carried the portraits of the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and prominent Bahraini opposition figure as well as national Bahraini flags.
A similar rally was also staged in the island of Sitra, located five kilometers (3.1 miles) south of Manama, where clashes broke between demonstrators and Bahraini regime forces.
Regime forces fired a number of teargas canisters to suppress the protest and disperse the crowd.
Separately, a group of young Bahraini men blocked the King Fahd Causeway, which connects Saudi Arabia with Bahrain.
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has denounced Manama’s measure against Sheikh Qassim as “silly” and “dangerous,” warning that the move will trigger a harsh response from the Bahraini people.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has also condemned the decision as “a Saudi plot,” saying it will fuel the flames of “Bahrain’s Islamic Revolution” against the ruling family.
Al Khalifah regime’s move against Sheikh Qassim came less than a week after the Bahraini Justice Ministry suspended all activities by al-Wefaq, and dissolved the opposition Islamic Enlightenment Institution and al-Risala Islamic Association.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on an almost daily basis in Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protests.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists.