Sheikh Issa al-Qasim in front of his house in al-Diraz

Bahrain’s opposition Al-Wefaq party revealed on Wednesday that the country’s highest religious authority Sheikh Isa Qassim is being transferred to hospital to undergo surgery.
The senior cleric, who has been living under virtual siege since the authorities revoked his citizenship in June 2016, reportedly requires urgent treatment for his deteriorating health.
According to Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Qassim “began to feel sick and needed surgery more than 10 days ago. He was surprised by the procrastination of the regime and the delay in allowing him to undergo the operation.”
Meanwhile, during the same 10-day period, the kingdom’s Cassation Court upheld Sheikh Qassim’s one-year suspended prison sentence as well as a separate ruling that stripped him of his Bahraini citizenship.
Al-Wefaq called on Manama to reinstate the cleric’s nationality and halt its “hostile actions” against Bahrain’s Shiite community.
The 80-year-old was also hospitalized last December and underwent surgery for an abdominal hernia. His health has dramatically deteriorated since security forces stormed his home in Diraz and placed him under house arrest in May 2017.

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