The head of the Department of Religious Freedom in the Bahraini Salam Organization for Democracy and Human Rights, Abbas Shuber, affirmed that the Bahraini regime’s tendency to punish Shiites in Bahrain for political reasons collectively is inconsistent with the agreements and protocols it signed in this regard.
Bahrain witnesses every day of the first month of Muharram the continuation of violations by the Bahraini Interior Forces against citizens who hold events in most areas of Bahrain on the occasion of Ashura.
Shuber said in response to a question about the reasons behind the Bahraini regime’s fear of reviving Ashura occasions and its attempts to close some of the Hussainiya councils, as well as its repeated attacks on Ashura manifestations:
“The authorities in Bahrain, through monitoring of semi-official committees, such as the Bassiouni Committee appointed by the King of Bahrain in the wake of the events that occurred in 2011, as well as monitoring of independent human rights institutions, talks about the attainment of violations against Shiite citizens at a rank that “may amount to collective punishment for a particular sect.”
He noted that Bahrain had ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination! But so far, it has not officially and publicly apologized for the violations it has committed against the Shiites in Bahrain for what it has committed against them in demolishing places of worship, as it has destroyed more than 30 mosques belonging to them.
The Bahraini authorities have also revoked the nationalities of religious authorities and closed the largest institution concerned with Shiite affairs, a scholarly institution headed by senior Shiite scholars in Bahrain.
He also noted the annual sabotage of Ashura’s manifestations, the arrest and suspension of many preachers of the Hussaini pulpit and the “rewarded” vocalists, and the dismissal of many Shiites from their jobs.
“This is what makes us explain the Bahraini regime’s tendency to collectively punish Shiites in Bahrain for political reasons, which is inconsistent with the agreements and protocols it signed in this regard.”
The Bahraini dissident criticized the regime’s handling of prisoners’ rights to revive their religious rituals.
“We have received appeals from prisoners in Jaw Central Prison, according to which about 50 prisoners protested against being denied religious rites and being subjected to physical assault after officers threatened to intervene to end their peaceful protest by entering emergency forces and using force.”
He added that the reason for these protests “is to deprive the prisoners of their legal right to revive the Ashura rituals in Ward 2, and the number of prisoners in that ward is 118, including 103 prisoners from the Shiite sect, most of whom are political prisoners, and their Ashura revival program has been cancelled.”
And on Tuesday, the Bahraini government decided to raise the risk level of the Corona pandemic to the orange level on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram.
The regime’s government issued a decision to reduce the number of attendees at religious rites for Shiite citizens to only 30 people.
Salam Organization for Democracy and Human Rights considered that this decision comes within the government’s steps to exploit the Corona pandemic to restrict religious freedoms in the country.
Social and political activist Ali Rashid Al-Ashery considered that switching to orange on the Ashura holiday was right.
He pointed out that things were going according to the precautions and directives in the revival of the Muharram activities. Nothing happened that required the transition to the orange colour.