The Bahraini people once again took to the streets in the restive town of Diraz to express their solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the Shiite majority, as the Manama regime plans to hold a trial session of the cleric later on Sunday.
Dozens of Bahraini citizens staged the demonstration near the house of Sheikh Qassim in Diraz, west of Manama, on Thursday night to condemn the planned trial of the prominent cleric.
According to local media reports, the demonstrators underlined that they will defend Sheikh Qassim.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, a number of senior Bahraini clerics decried the trial of Sheikh Qassim due to be held on Sunday, May 7, stressing that any court verdict would be “null and void” and lack “legal, national and religious worth”.
The statement also called on the people of Bahrain to oppose any ruling against the top Shiite leader.
The Manama regime announced on June 20, 2016, that it had revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim. The regime later said it would put the senior cleric on trial on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism”.
In March this year, Manama postponed the trial of Sheikh Qassim as nationwide rallies were held in solidarity with the top cleric.
The trial session of Sheikh Qassim had been slated for March 14 but was adjourned until May 7.
Some sources have said that the Bahraini regime plans to send Sheikh Qassim to exile in Turkey in a bid to ease tensions.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.