Bahrain starts sentencing top cleric supporters to prison
Bahraini authorities have started handing down prison sentences to those holding sit-ins in protest at the regime's decision to revoke the citizenship of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim.
Two protesters were sentenced to one year of imprisonment each last week for attending protests in the restive Diraz village, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said on Friday.
The first verdict was pronounced on August 19, when Shia cleric Sheikh Ali Humeidan was sentenced to jail. The second verdict was issued three days later when Shia eulogist Abdullah Subah was convicted on charges of “holding unlawful gatherings” in Diraz.
The center said Shia clerics Sheikh Ali Naji also known as al-Himli, Sheikh Mounir al-Maatouk, and Sheikh Imad al-Shaala, together with eulogist Mullah Habib al-Dirazi are facing trial on similar charges.
The center strongly condemned the persecution of peaceful protesters in Diraz, and the Al Khalifah regime’s violation of public right to peaceful gathering.
The BCHR further expressed concerns over the safety of demonstrators protesting the regime’s decision to strip Sheikh Qassim of citizenship.