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BIRD: Sheikh Isa Qassim’s Health in Contiguous Deterioration, High Risk on His Life

2017-11-29 - 9:41 p

Bahrain Mirror: The London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) condemned the arbitrary treatment of highest religious authority in country Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.

BIRD said in a statement that the health of Sheikh Isa Qassim, who is in his 70s, has deteriorated sharply since Sunday, November 26. Sheikh Isa Qassim is in continuous pain and excreting blood. Doctors independent of the Bahraini government were allowed to visit the cleric at his home, but the cleric's family had to insist to the police that they be sent, and they only arrived after a delay of four hours. They diagnosed him with a groin hernia requiring emergency operation. Such an operation carries a high mortality risk at Sheikh Isa Qassim's age. He also suffers high blood pressure, diabetes and a form of heart disease.

Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, head of Bahrain Interfaith, said: "The Bahraini government holds the full responsibility of the Sheikh Isa Qassim's well-being. Urgent medical care by independent doctors must be permitted immediately," indicating that "The international community must ensure Bahrain is pressured to ensure the safety of Sheikh Isa Qassim is protected."

For his part, Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, Director of Advocacy, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy: "The Bahraini monarchy are playing with fire. Denying adequate medical care and placing under house arrest Bahrain's most senior religious figure, despite his advanced age and ill-health, tells you everything about the rulers' cruelty and lack of human compassion. This disregard could have major unintended consequences which the government is not considering."

Bahrain's most senior Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim's health is at significant risk after six months of house arrest. The religious leader has been effectively under house arrest since May 2017. He was rendered stateless in 2016 and sentenced in absentia to a one-year suspended sentence on politically-motivated charges earlier this year. There are fears he will be deported if he leaves his home.

BIRD pointed out in a statement that Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of the now-dissolved Al Wefaq, the largest political party in the country, has a court hearing for allegedly colluding with Qatar. He and two other ex-Wefaq MPs (Ali Al-Aswad and Hasan Sultan, both in exile) are charged with working with Qatar against Bahrain in 2011.

None of the defendants appeared in court, and the trial was postponed to 29 November. Besides, three family members of BIRD's Director of Advocacy, Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, face an appeal hearing on 3 December. They were sentenced to three years in prison each, after suffering torture and unfair trials, as a reprisal against Sayed Ahmed's work.

Arabic Version



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