Bahrain continues ban on Friday 'namaz'

New Delhi: Bahrain has refused to lift the ban on Friday prayers. Authorities used strong armed tactics to prevent people from performing the largest Friday prayers for the 28th consecutive week. To prevent people from gathering  for prayers, the government forces applied strong measures, including blocking streets leading to Imam Sadeq Mosque in the town of Diraz.

Since June Diraz has been witnessing protests by  citizens gainst teh government’s decision to strip prominent Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Issa al-Qassem of his citizenship. This week Bahrain’s appeals court has ruled to uphold a nine-year jail sentence handed down to senior Shia opposition cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman, despite widespread criticism both at home and abroad against his imprisonment. Sheikh Salman was arrested in December 2014 for backing reforms in the country.

Bahrain had revoked Sheikh Qassem’s citizenship on June 20. Later the authorities dissolved the main opposition front, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which Sheikh Salman was heading, as well as the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the 79-year-old cleric, besides another opposition movement, the al-Risala Islamic Association.

Since 2011, thousands of  protesters have been holding demonstrations asking  the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.