Bahrain says prominent Shiite cleric hospitalized

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KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Bahrain's Health Ministry says a prominent Shiite cleric who has been stripped of his citizenship and held under house arrest has been hospitalized.

The ministry said Monday that Sheikh Isa Qassim was transferred to a local hospital. Activists also acknowledged Sheikh Isa was hospitalized.

Sheikh Isa's supporters previously told The Associated Press that he suffered from a hernia and needed surgery.

Bahrain's government says nothing stopped Sheikh Isa from getting medical care.

Sheikh Isa 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, a predominantly Shiite island is ruled by the Sunni Al Khalifa family. They continue a crackdown on all dissent, imprisoning or forcing politicians and activists into exile.

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