Bahraini regime forces have arrested yet another senior Shia cleric as the ruling Al Khalifah regime continues a heavy-handed crackdown on the Shia community in the country.
Bahraini forces arrested Seyyed Majid al-Mashaal, the secretary of Muslim Scholars Council, after raiding his home on Saturday morning.
On January 29, 2014, a Bahraini court decided to dissolve the council, which includes a number of prominent Bahraini Shia scholars, and ordered the liquidation of its assets.
Bahrain’s Islamic Scholars Council was founded in 2004 under the leadership of prominent Bahraini Shia religious scholar Sheikh Issa Qassim.
Top Bahraini Shia cleric, Sheikh Issa Qassim (file photo by AFP)
Sheikh Qassim himself has been stripped of his citizenship and is being tried at a court over trumped-up charges.
Earlier on July 24, Bahraini forces arrested two Shia clergymen, identified as Sayed Yassin al-Mosawi and Sheikh Jassim al-Kayyat, over their participation in a sit-in outside the residence of Sheikh Qassim to denounce the regime’s decision to revoke his citizenship.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah rulers to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — themselves repressive Arab regimes — were deployed to the country to assist Manama in its crackdown on protests.
Bahrain has already sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, another revered opposition cleric, to nine years in prison on charges of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers, which he has denied.
Sheikh Salman was the secretary general of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which was Bahrain’s main opposition bloc before being dissolved by the regime earlier this month.