Sheikh Qassim Shuns Court Appearance, Trial Adjourned

Senior Bahraini cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim’s planned trial was adjourned until August 14 after the prominent figure did not appear in court on Wednesday, Bahrain’s prosecutor general announced.

Sheikh Qassim’s trial was shelved after the cleric refused to appear in the court for allegedly money laundering, the Bahraini prosecutor general said.

He noted that the court had already issued a subpoena, but the cleric’s son refused to receive it.

Meanwhile, Bahraini sources reported that none of the alleged defendants from the opposition appeared in the court on Wednesday, saying August 14 has been set as the date for the next trial session.

Representative of Sheikh Qassim had already announced that the top cleric would definitely refuse to attend the Wednesday hearing.

The Al Khalifa regime announced on June 20 that the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim has been revoked, accusing him of sowing sectarian divisions.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.

Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters.

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