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Human Rights Watch slams destabilizing violence in Bahrain

The Human Rights Watch has condemned the brutal violence by the Bahraini regime forces against protesters in a northwestern village as a crackdown on freedom of expression.

According to Press TV, the group said in a statement on Tuesday “Yet again the architects of bloody destabilizing violence in Bahrain appear to be the Ale Khalifah regime, and the timing of this operation – two days after [Bahraini] King Hamad’s [bin Isa Ale Khalifah] convivial meeting with [US] President [Donald] Trump – can hardly be a coincidence.”

Earlier in the day, Bahraini regime forces stormed into the residence of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual Leader of the country’s Shia majority in the village of Dirza, arresting everyone inside the house. It is not yet clear whether Sheikh Qassim himself is among the detainees.

There have been reports of security forces firing birdshot at protesters and teargas into the house of the prominent cleric.

Sources have confirmed at least two fatalities. Seven others are said to be in critical condition.

Diraz is the native village of Sheikh Isa Qassim. It has been the scene of protests since last June, when the authorities stripped the cleric of his citizenship over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote “sectarianism” and “violence.” He has denied the allegations.

Following the brutal operations, Bahraini clerics called for mass nationwide protests.

Meanwhile, the Head of Scholar’s Assembly of Lebanon, Sheikh Ahmed Alzain, condemned the Bahraini forces’ acts of violence in Diraz and said the Manama regime and King Hamad are responsible for any possible harm to Sheikh Qassim.

He added that the rulings against Sheikh Qassim and other leaders of Bahraini opposition have no value.