Shiite clerics threatened with ‘legal action’ over appeal for commutation of death sentences

Bahrain’s leading Shiite clerics provoked a furious reaction from the regime in Manama for merely appealing for the commutation of death sentences in the Gulf kingdom.

The country’s interior ministry threatened the religious figures with ‘legal action’ on Saturday and accused them of attempting to stoke unrest.

Earlier in the week, Sayed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi, Sheikh Abdulhussein Al-Sitri, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh Al-Rabie and Sheikh Mohammed Sanqour released a statement in response to a decision by the Bahraini monarch to commute the death sentences of four men tried by Manama’s military court.

Aside from commending the decision, the clerics also expressed their hope that such steps would be “extended to the rest of those sentenced [to death].”

The statement went on to call for a “homeland of love, tolerance, justice and prosperity.”

The interior ministry claimed that the pronouncement is an attempt at making personal political gains.

The statement also drew sharp criticism from other institutions including the justice ministry where one senior official accused the clerics of being “irresponsible”.

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