Bahrain’s most prominent cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim has expressed concern over the alarming situation of healthcare in the country’s prisons and jails, renewing his call for the immediate release of political inmates in light of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Sheikh Qassim, in a statement released on Monday, called on Bahraini protesters demanding the freedom of imprisoned opposition figures to continue their demonstrations.
“Show the world how the oppressed people stand up for their rights and never compromise on them. At the same time, they do not allow their anger and outrage to take them away from observing the norms of their religion and wisdom,” the senior cleric pointed out.
Sheikh Qassim, however, cautioned Bahraini demonstrators against covert attempts to hijack their protest movement and crush their demands for the release of political dissidents.
He also called for the protection of public and private property during the demonstrations.
Back on April 1, Sheikh Qassim had warned that political dissidents in Bahraini prisons are facing deaths and had demanded their immediate release.
The senior cleric called on the ruling Al Khalifa regime at the time to choose between the deaths of the dissident inmates and their release.
“One of the worst things that the government of Bahrain does is to keep prisoners as leverage for political bargaining, especially now that the coronavirus [pandemic] is attacking [Bahrain’s] prisons with full force,” the distinguished cleric highlighted.
On Sunday evening, protesters and relatives of Bahraini political detainees took to the streets across the Persian Gulf kingdom to demand release of their loved ones in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The demonstrators staged rallies in multiple regions, including Sitra Island, which lies 5 kilometers south of the capital, Manama, as well as Bilad al-Qadeem suburb of Manama, and villages of Sanabis, al-Daih and Nuwaidrat, denouncing the Al Khalifah regime’s blackout on the number of detainees infected with the coronavirus.