RNA – Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Isa Qasim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s majority Shi’ah population and the head of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society has issued a statement in which he demanded the immediate and unconditional release of political dissidents currently being held in the Manamah regime’s prisons in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, stressing that failure to take the measure will have dire consequences.
The text of the statement is as follows:
In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
If the release of political prisoners of conscience, who are thousands, in Bahrain is not a religious, constitutional, national and humanitarian right and is neglected by the government of the country, then the inevitable reality of estimating that COVID-19 enters prisons will cause a destructive Coronavirus disaster, which will not be limited to its horrific effects the world knows.
Due to the huge number of infections and deaths the disease causes, which would make people lose their feelings, the security situation will never remain as perceived by any internal or external party in normal circumstances.
There is no need for this to have an intentional political orientation, but rather it would be a raging human and emotional reaction, a burning feeling and a burst of conscience, because the conditions created by the plight of Coronavirus do not allow for any political exploitation.
With the meeting of these two burning calamities, no country will be left.
The urgency today makes it a necessity to release the aforementioned thousands of prisoners, even if the sound of religion, Constitution, logic and humanity was not heard.
Waiting for the moment of surprise when COVID-19 enters the prisons is a matter of burning the country.
Do not let Coronavirus destroy the country from two sides, and puts it in an uncontrolled security chaos. When it enters the prisons, neither reason nor power will be able to stand in the face of roaring angry emotions that the disease will cause.
This speech is very far from the language of threat, but it is truthful and sincere advice and warning, which we must all say to ensure the safety of our country, and to keep what is left of it and for it.
May God guide the government to rationality and protect the country and its people and all Muslim countries from devastating disasters and all bad things.
Isa Ahmed Qasim
April 2, 2020