Bahrainis rally in support of Sheikh Isa Qassim

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SHAFAQNA – Thousands of people in Bahrain took to the streets across the Persian Gulf country in protest at a court ruling sentencing the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority Sheikh Isa Qassim to one year in prison.

Rallies in support of Sheikh Qassim were held in different parts of Bahrain, including al-Diraz village near Manama where the cleric lives.

The protesters chanted slogans against the ruling regime and underlined readiness to sacrifice their lives to defend the senior Shia cleric and the country’s popular uprising.

They also condemned the Bahraini king’s meeting in Riyadh with US President Donald Trump.

Currently, hundreds of Bahraini citizens have gathered around Sheikh Qassim’s home in Diraz reiterating their support for the cleric.

A Bahraini court on Sunday announced the verdict against Sheikh Qassim, sentencing him to one year in prison.

According to the ruling, Sheikh Qassim’s properties worth three million Bahraini dinars (near $8 million) have been confiscated. The cleric was also sentenced to pay a fine of 1,000 Bahraini dinars (about $2,650).

According to local reports, Sheikh Qassim’s prison sentence has been suspended for three years.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.

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