Sheikh Issa al-Qasim in front of his home in the Al-Daraz

The Bahraini Court of Cassation on Monday upheld the death sentence of a prominent Shia cleric, Ayatollah Issa Qasim, and held him for one year suspended, a judicial source said.
Ayatollah Qassim is in his late 70s and has been under de facto residence in Al-Daraz, a suburb of Manama, since a first ruling was issued in 2016 to withdraw his Bahraini nationality after being convicted on charges of “serving foreign interests.”
In a second case, the judicial source said the court of cassation also supported the death sentence of a Shi’ite opposition accused by the authorities of killing a policeman in February 2013.
Bahrain has been plagued by intermittent unrest since a protest movement in February 2011 led by a majority of Shiites whose leaders demand the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain. The Bahraini government has been the king’s uncle for 47 years without elections.
Dozens of peaceful Bahraini dissidents, including doctors and university professors, were referred to the politicized judiciary and sentenced to prison terms for demanding the right to elect a government, constitutional monarchy and non-discrimination against Shiite Muslims.

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