Bahrain Mirror: Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim issued a statement on Friday (February 1, 2019), in which he said that "Freedom is the Bahraini people's constant demand, which they never forget, neglect, disregard or give up on."
Ayatollah Qassim's statement entitled, "This is Bahrain", is the first statement he has issued since the revocation of his nationality three years ago in June 2016.
The statement is as follows: "Bahrain is a country of Islam and faith, knowledge and enlightenment, and the land of honor, pride and glory.
The people of Bahrain are people of pride and uprising, who neither accept indignity and subjugation nor tolerate insult, and put nothing before religion, dignity, pride and freedom.
They are a people who do not oppress nor accept oppression, who do not transgress what is right, accept nothing less than that and never back away from it. They do not undervalue others and do not allow others to do so. They are steadfast on the path of truth and justice. Freedom is their constant demand, which they never forget, neglect, disregard or give up on.
These are the people of Bahrain, distinguished with their great humaneness, bright faithful identity, glorious history, remarkable message and noble belonging.
It is not possible for Bahrain, with its immense sense of morality and great, dignified people, to settle with any policy that does not view it with the true perspective of its humaneness, pride and glory, a perspective that values its potentials, aspirations, desires, its will and rejection of aggression that may be committed at its hands or directed towards it.
A thousand salutes to Bahrain and its people as it marches on the path to a great future."
Ayatollah Qassim left Bahrain in July 2018 and headed to the British capital London for treatment, where he stayed for several months, during which he underwent a number of surgical operations. He then left for the city of Najaf in Iraq, where he has been residing since December 28, 2018 to date.
"The decision to strip Sheikh Isa Qassim of his citizenship takes Bahrain into the darkest days it has seen," Human Rights Watch said in 2016 after Bahraini authorities revoked the citizenship of the country's most prominent religious scholar.
In fact, after the religious authority was stripped of his nationality, the town of Diraz was subjected to a harsh siege that lasted for more than a year. The security authorities attacked an open-ended mass sit-in that was held outside the house of Ayatollah Qassim, protesting against his possible deportation or arrest, but the authorities attacked the town in December 2016, leaving five protesters killed, and arresting at least 300 citizens during the attack.