Dozens of protesters have staged a rally in Bahrain to condemn a ban on holding Friday prayers and to denounce the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown on the majority Shia community.
The protesters marched through the streets of the northwestern village of Diraz after security forces closed roads leading to Imam Sadeq Mosque and prevented them from gathering for prayers.
The demonstrators insisted on their rights to freedom of religion and belief, and condemned the Manama regime’s efforts to restrict them.
The Bahrainis also chanted slogans to express their support for prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, whose citizenship has been revoked by the ruling Al Khalifah regime.
Bahraini authorities revoked Sheikh Qassim’s citizenship on June 20. They later dissolved the main opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, as well as the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the 79-year-old cleric, besides another opposition movement, the al-Risala Islamic Association.
The European Union and the 35-member UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have recently urged Bahrain to end its heavy-handed crackdown on political dissent.
Slovakia’s permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva Fedor Rosocha, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, voiced concerns “about measures against Bahrain’s opposition political society.”
The UNHRC also condemned the Bahraini regime’s crackdown on dissent, calling for comprehensive reforms to bring stability to the Persian Gulf kingdom.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.
Troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protests.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists.