Bahrain’s most prominent Shia Scholar Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim called on the Manama regime to launch serious dialogue with opposition groups and protesters and start reforms.
A a statement released on Friday, Sheikh Qassim said Bahrain is going through severe crises that threaten its very existence. These crises have their roots in the government’s policies and will continue to grow and get more complicated if the government refuses to introduce reforms and change its policies, he warned.The cleric said Manama releases some prisoners based on its policies but keeps leaders and top figures of the resistance in jail and does little to change the situation. Such moves cannot resolve the problems in Bahrain, he underlined.Reforms that can resolve the problems and create sustainable security are those based on a new constitution that originates from the will of the nation, Sheikh Qassim went on to say. He also said that the Bahraini people are ready for constructive and dignified dialogue to regain their political and non-political rights.
Demonstrations in Bahrain have been held on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011. The participants demand that the Al-Khalifa regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide. King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.