SHAFAQNA – People in Bahrain held protest rallies against the ruling Al Khalifa regime on Friday as the regime forces prevented Friday prayers in al-Diraz region for the 56th consecutive week.
People took to the streets in Diraz, the hometown of Bahrain’s top Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, to condemn the Al Khalifa atrocities and voice support for Sheikh Qassim, the Manama Post reported.
There were also protest rallies in other parts of the Persian Gulf island country.
Friday marked the 56th consecutive week of Diraz siege, as military and armored vehicles spread along the areas to ban citizens from entering the region and holding Friday prayers.
Authorities continue to impose their restrictions on freedom of religion and movement in Diraz, and on Shia religious rituals, including Friday prayers.
In recent months, Bahrain’s rulers have carried out an intensifying crackdown against Shias and leading figures from the Shia majority that has drawn criticism worldwide.
Authorities have stripped tens of Bahraini Shias, including leader of Bahraini Shias Sheikh Isa Qassim, of their citizenship.
The government of Bahrain has also suspended the main Shia opposition party, al-Wefaq, accusing it of having links to foreign terrorists and inciting hatred.
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with security forces resorting to harsh measures against demonstrators.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful protests.