Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shiite majority, is planned to address a ceremony due to be held in Iran’s holy city of Qom to commemorate the anniversary of the start of the Persian Gulf country’s revolution.
Sheikh Qassim is slated to deliver a speech at a gathering of Bahraini dissidents for the first time in the central city of Qom on Thursday to mark the anniversary of the start of the Bahraini uprising.
The ceremony to commemorate the 14 February Revolution of Bahrain will start at 7:30 p.m. (local time).
Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.
Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.
Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters.
Since 1980s, the ruling Al Khalifa regime has been trying to change the Kingdom’s demographic structure which largely consists of Shiites.