By Bimbo Ogunnaike
A court in Bahrain upholds a one-year jail term handed to top Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, who has been stripped of his nationality by the Al Khalifah regime and confirms the decision to revoke the cleric’s citizenship.
A legal source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bahrain’s Supreme Court confirmed the same ruling for two of the 81-year-old cleric’s aides, Sheikh Hussein Mahrus and Mirza al-Obaidli.
On May 21 last year, a Bahraini court convicted Sheikh Qassim of illegal collection of funds and money laundering, and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three years.
It also ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines. The court ruling sparked widespread demonstrations across the kingdom.
Bahraini authorities stripped the cleric of his citizenship on June 20, 2016. They later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by him, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Bahraini regime’s harsh treatment of the Shia clerics comes despite the fact that Sheikh Qassim is reportedly suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, demanded last November that the top Shia cleric be released, and asked for immediate medical attention for him.