People of Bahrain have held a rally to mark the first anniversary of the execution of prominent Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Riyadh regime.
Bahrainis took to the streets of the village of Diraz on Sunday also to show solidarity with Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, whom Manama stripped of citizenship in June.
The Saudis executed Sheikh Nimr on January 2, defying international calls to release him. The execution sparked international condemnations and angry protests in many countries.
Protests have been held on a regular basis outside Sheikh Isa Qassim’s home, since June 20, when Bahraini authorities stripped the 79-year-old cleric of his citizenship over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote sectarianism and violence. Sheikh Qassim has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out between police and anti-Manama regime protesters on Sitra Island. According to reports, several people were arrested during the protest.
Thousands of anti-regime demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and let a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown. Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the regime’s crackdown on activists.