Iran Experts Assembly warns Bahrain of gathering ‘storm’

The Assembly said in a statement on Friday that the inhumane treatment of Sheikh Isa Qassim by the Bahraini Al Khalifa regime, which has been aided by the Saudi regime, would “create a tide and a storm that will not subside except with the toppling of the oppressive Al Khalifah system.”

Bahraini forces raided the northwestern village of Diraz on Tuesday, clashed with people who had gathered to protect the sheikh, killed five of them, and then stormed into his house.

Sheikh Qassim faces expulsion from Bahrain after authorities revoked his citizenship last year. Ever since, the public has been staging day-to-day sit-ins in front of his house in Diraz, and the government has placed the village under a siege.

The measure was taken against him over his support for the nation’s uprising against the regime, which began in 2011.

Protests escalated on Monday after a court convicted the cleric of what it said were the illegal collection of funds and money laundering and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three years. The charges emanate from the collection of an Islamic donation called Khums, a religious practice by a senior cleric in Shia Islam to collect and spend donations in the interests of the needy.

The local police has, meanwhile, asked survivors to forgo a funeral ceremony for the victims. The families have shunned the demand and insist on receiving the bodies and holding a funeral for them.


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