Bahraini Figure Slams London’s Support for Manama Crackdown on Dissent

SHAFAQNA – The representative of prominent Bahraini cleric Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim in Iran said the Al Khalifa regime’s recent move to attack Sheikh Qassim’s supporters around his residence was made with the support of Britain.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Sheikh Abdullah al-Daqqaq highlighted the factors behind the Bahraini security forces’ Wednesday attack on supporters of Sheikh Qassim in the restive Diraz village, stressing that Britain’s extensive support for the Al Khalifa regime was one of the factors.

He further said Manama is seeking to arrest Sheikh Qassim and the raid was staged to gauge public reaction, adding that with the grace of God, the Bahraini nation showed a harsh reaction to the security forces.

Sheikh Daqqaq went on to say that the incident only raised the spirits of the people and made them more resolved to continue their support for Sheikh Qassim.

Regime forces in Bahrain handed a warrant to Sheikh Qassim to appear in court, after clashing with supporters around his house.

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry had alleged in a statement that Sheikh Qassim actively sought the “creation of a sectarian environment” through his connections with “foreign powers,” charges that were widely understood as regime attempts to silence the dissident cleric.

Bahraini police forces used tear gas against Sheikh Qassim’s supporters around his residence in a brutal effort to gain access to the doorway of the house on Wednesday.

The supporters of the cleric, who have been camping out at the area as a protective measure for his safety, called on more people from the local population to join them following the police raid.

The sit-in protest outside of the cleric’s home entered its 185th day on Wednesday.

The sit-in protest began on June 20, when Bahraini authorities stripped the 79-year-old cleric of his citizenship, less than a week after suspending the country’s main opposition party, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution — founded by the senior cleric — and another opposition Islamic association.

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