19:40 GMT28 November 2020
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    Sunni-ruled Bahrain has deprived leading Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim of his citizenship, media reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the BBC, Bahrain stripped Qassim, who is the spiritual leader of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain's biggest opposition group, and holds the senior religious title of Ayatollah, of his citizenship.

    On June 14, Bahrain's Court of Cassation ruled to close all offices of Al-Wefaq in a response to an appeal lodged by the country's Ministry of Justice.

    Al-Wefaq has organized mass protest rallies against the current constitutional monarchy in Bahrain. Al-Wefaq's leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to four years in prison for inciting hatred and disobedience as well as insulting public institutions in 2015. Earlier in June, the court decided to increase the sentence to nine years.

    Since 2011, the Sunni regime in Bahrain became locked in a struggle with an opposition movement led primarily by Shiites, who form a majority in the country. The protesters were calling for political freedom, equality and a parliamentary system that operates independently of Bahrain’s Sunni royal family.

    Sunni, Shia, citizenship, Bahrain
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