Regime Forces Clash with Sieged Residents in Bahrain Village
The cause for the confrontation on Wednesday in Diraz wasn’t immediately clear, however the village has been the scene of a peaceful uninterrupted gathering in front of the house of senior Bahraini cleric, Sheikh Issa Qassim.
On Wednesday, the sit-in protest outside Sheikh Qassim’s home in Diraz has entered its 185th day.
Residents of the village and activists say that riot police first massed outside, then entered the town.
They say locals confronted the police, who fired tear gas. All requested anonymity as an activist previously faced charges for speaking to media.
On June 20, Bahraini authorities stripped the 79-year-old cleric of his citizenship, less than a week after suspending the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country’s main opposition bloc, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by Qassim, and the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country on February 14, 2011. The protesters demand that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power.
Supporters of Sheikh Qassim say he’s targeted by the Bahraini authorities as part of a wider crackdown on the dissent in the years after 2011 protests.
Qassim has also been in legal limbo since June at his Diraz home.