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Case of Sheikh Isa Qassim, Violations Continues in Bahrain

Bahraini government fines, strips nationality, and gives jail time to Sheikh Isa Qassim, another Bahraini Shia cleric.

Suspended jail time in addition to $265,000 fine of Sheikh Isa Qassim is another example of Bahrain’s religious discrimination and controlling of religious freedom.

Sheikh Qassim was accused and charged of illegal fundraising and money laundering when in reality he managed Khums as part of his role as a cleric.

Khums is a religious due practiced among Shia Muslims as a mean to solve economic issues in the society. Each working Shia Muslim pays one fifth of his/her income once a year to a religious figure of their choice. It is the duty of that figure to use the money for publications, charity and other needs of the society.

As a result of such unfair treatment, many pro-democracy Bahrainis protested to voice their disapproval of the government’s actions. The government creates social turmoil in  the Shia populated areas by falsely charging their leaders.

Bahraini kingdom uses any excuse to charge Shia leaders. Punishing a Shia clerc for doing his job of taking care of poor using Khums is in no way justified, believes Shia Rights Watch.

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