SHAFAQNA – As the sun rose over Bahrain’s northwestern village of Diraz, armored vehicles were snapped around the home of the country’s highest religious authority, Sheikh Isa Qassim, who has been under house arrest for over five months.
The increased security measures have become an all too common feature in the area, especially on Fridays when security forces tighten their siege on Diraz, enforcing a ban on Shiite Friday prayers at the local Imam Al Sadiq Mosque.
The ban on the country’s largest Shiite congregation has been in place for 67 consecutive weeks. Those who managed to reach the mosque preformed individual prayers.
Shortly afterwards, Diraz residents took to the streets in show of solidarity with Sheikh Qassim.
Protesters also held up portraits of forcibly disappeared Bahrainis, demanding Manama release information about their location and physical well-being.