People have staged fresh rallies in Bahrain to protest stepped-up crackdown on Shia processions commemorating the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (Peace Be Upon Him).
Protesters took to the streets in the town of A’ali southeast of the capital Manama on Wednesday evening to condemn new heavy-handed measures.
Muslims in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and many other countries have been taking part in mourning ceremonies since the beginning of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar.
The first ten days of Muharram mark the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 680 AD in a battle with the tyrant of the time.
The historic event’s message of resistance and rising up against tyranny has been key to the evolution of a culture which rejects abjection at any rate.
Bahrainis on Wednesday night chanted slogans and denounced the Manama regime’s disruption of mourning ceremonies and removing banners and flags about Ashura which marks the 10th day of Muharram.
Participants in the rally also held pictures of distinguished opposition figures, including Sheikh Ali Salman and Sheikh Isa Qassim. They pledged to press ahead with their resistance campaign against the Al Khalifah regime.
Protests have intensified in Bahrain since October when the supreme court of appeal rejected a request to release Sheikh Salman, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence. The 50-year-old clergyman faces a new date on October 17 to have his case re-examined.
The tiny Persian Gulf kingdom is in fresh turmoil after Bahraini authorities decided to strip the country’s most prominent Shia Muslim cleric, Sheikh Qassim, of his citizenship in June.
They also dissolved the main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, al-Risala Islamic Association as well as the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by Sheikh Qassim.
Protest rallies in Bahrain have continued on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising started in the kingdom in 2011. The protesters are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured in a harsh crackdown which is backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.