DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Supporters say a prominent Shiite cleric who lost his citizenship and remains under house arrest in Bahrain has returned to a local hospital for surgery.
Sheikh Isa Qassim left his home in Diraz on Wednesday.
Sheikh Maytham al-Salman of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said Sheikh Isa will undergo a hernia surgery. Sheikh Isa was in the hospital in December as well.
The cleric could be deported at any time after authorities stripped his citizenship in June 2016 over accusations that he fueled extremism and laundered money. His supporters deny the allegations.
Bahrain's Sunni rulers are cracking down on all dissent on the Shiite-majority island, imprisoning or forcing politicians and activists into exile.
Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.