The secretary general of Bahrain’s al-Wefaq National Islamic Society has called on the UN high commissioner for human rights to put an end to Manama’s persecution of Shia Muslims.
The imprisoned Shia cleric Sheikh Ali Salman wrote a letter to Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on Tuesday stressing that Bahrain is witnessing a “dangerous swelling” in persecution against Shias since top Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim was stripped of his citizenship.
He also stressed that the people of Bahrain require social justice equality and called on the international community to support their needs.
Sheikh Salman has been in prison since December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers, which he has denied.
Bahraini authorities revoked Sheikh Qassim’s citizenship in late June. They later dissolved the main opposition bloc 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.
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.