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Bahrain

Bahraini Youth Coalition Calls for Rallies in Solidarity with Sheikh Qassim

Bahrain’s February 14 Youth Coalition, a major opposition group, called on the people of the Persian Gulf island to hold demonstrations in solidarity with the spiritual leader of the Arab country’s Shiite majority, Sheikh Isa Qassim.

 

In a statement released on Thursday, the February 14 Youth Coalition asked all Bahrainis to participate in the upcoming nationwide rallies to protest at the trial of Sheikh Qassim.

The demonstrations are due to be held on Monday, concurrent with the planned trial of the prominent Shiite cleric, according to the statement.

The opposition group will also organize another demonstration in the capital, Manama, on the occasion of the 100th day of sit-in protests outside the house of Sheikh Qassim in the village of Diraz.

Manama announced on June 20 that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.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.”

Sheikh Qassim’s planned trials were adjourned after the prominent cleric did not appear in court.

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.

Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters.

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