Human Rights Watch condemns Bahrain’s brutal attack on protesters

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SHAFAQNA – A global human rights group has condemned the use of brutal violence by Bahraini regime forces against protesters in a northwestern village.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Tuesday, “Yet again the architects of bloody destabilizing violence in Bahrain appear to be the Al Khalifah government, and the timing of this operation – two days after [Bahraini] King Hamad’s [bin Isa Al Khalifah] convivial meeting with [US] President [Donald] Trump – can hardly be a coincidence.”

Early on Tuesday, Bahraini forces stormed into the home village of the country’s Shiite Muslims spiritual leader. The security operation reportedly aims at ejecting people from the site of an encampment outside house of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim in Diraz where the prominent cleric’s followers have been holding sit-in since June 20, 2016, when the authorities revoked his citizenship.

Bahraini activists on social media say regime forces have killed at least two civilians and injured over 100 during the ongoing clashes.

One of the dead was identified as Mohammad Kadhem Zainuldine. The 39-year youth was an environmental activist who sustained several gunshot injuries in his body.

A-the western-backed Al Khalifa regime also arrested 50 people with Secretariat of suspended Al-Wefaq Society Sayed Taher Al-Moussawi being among the detainees.

The unprecedented incursion into Diraz follows Ayatollah Qassim’s sentencing on Sunday on charges of the illegal collection of funds and money laundering. He was sentenced to one year in jail suspended for three years. The charges emanate from the collection of an Islamic donation known as Khums, which in Shiite Islam is collected and spent by a senior cleric in the interests of the needy.

Meanwhile, Bahrain Islamic scholars urged masses in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom to defend Ayatollah Qassim against regime forces who have been launching a brutal crackdown on his house in Diraz.

In a statement, the scholars urged Bahrainis to take to streets in several areas across the country in order to defend the top Islamic scholar.

“If you want it to be Karbala, then we are the sons of Karbala,” reoffering to Karbala, in present-day Iraq, where the oppressor Yazid’s troops martyred Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein in 680 AD.

Since the beginning of the Islamic awakening uprising in February 2011, Bahrainis have demonstrations on an almost daily basis demanding that the Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established. Despite the presence of Saudi and UAE troops assisting regime forces in the crackdown, the masses have persisted in their resistance.

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