SHAFAQNA– Bahraini security forces took to custody at least 17 Shia nationals in the first week of November alone, in a fresh campaign against the regime’s political dissidents.
Reports coming from the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom suggest the majority of the arrests have taken place in Shia-populated district of Diraz. Among the detainees is Shia scholar and theologian Sheikh Mehdi al-Sandi. No charges have been leveled against the arrestees so far and they were reportedly sent to the notorious criminal investigation section.
In reaction to the news about the detentions, the Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain as well as Bahrain Center for Human Rights requested the Al Khalifa regime to stop its sectarian attacks against the Shia population and their religious ceremonies and refrain from restricting the Shia community.
In a joint report, the two rights organizations have stated that summoning certain people for security reasons, harassment and arrests, tearing up religious banners and flags in the mourning month of Muharram continued unabated across Bahrain. Prisoners jailed for exercising their right to freedom of expression also were not allowed to observe their religious rituals.
The statement continues that most of the recent attacks against the Shia population, preachers and eulogists have nothing to do with politics and they have targeted Shia beliefs and traditions.
Based on the joint report, the Al Khalifa regime summoned at least 51 Shia preachers and eulogy reciters over the month of Moharram, and illegally arrested at least eight of them. There are also 38 cases of damage inflicted by security forces on hussainiyas, mourning halls or religious centers.
The two rights groups have included some advice for the Al Khalifa regime in their report and asked it to draft laws to prevent attacks on religious centers and to hold accountable the perpetrators of such attacks.
Read more from Shafaqna: