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Government restriction on commemorating the Ashura rituals in Bahrain raises criticism

The Bahraini opposition has criticized the escalation of systematic government restrictions on commemorating the Ashura rituals in Bahrain.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the opposition National Islamic Al-Wefaq Society, Hussain Al-Daihi, stated that the talk about restrictions on commemorating the Ashura season in Bahrain, the tearing of Ashura banners and the threats to preachers and Husseiniyas is an extension of a racist policy that has grown and expanded in recent years.

Al-Daihi affirmed that glorifying and bragging about the existence of religious freedoms in Bahrain is a big lie and unparalleled fraud, especially in light of the deep sectarian discrimination that is not hidden by superficial or ineffective treatments.

He pointed to the profound imbalance in the nature of the relationship between the ruling regime in Bahrain and the people and that when a security official speaks and diagnoses the interest in an issue related to the Shiite community, know that the country is in a very steep slope.

He pointed out that officials and the government in Bahrain exercise the role of guardianship by force and the use of state institutions in determining the interest of the country, the interest of the Shiites, the interest of Husseiniyas, and the interest of preachers, and they punish those who fail to follow their orders.

He added, “What era do these people belong to?”

Al-Daihi stressed that nations are not upright by exclusivity and authoritarianism. He pointed out that what is happening in Bahrain is more than that, from interfering with sectarian idiosyncrasies and determining what can and cannot be done, which is a dangerous and unacceptable reality.”

He stressed that the Shiites in Bahrain do not seek to establish a Shiite rule, and at the same time, they refuse to impose the rule of another sect or religious orientation on them, which is what is happening in Bahrain. Punishment, law, curricula, media, judiciary and security are detailed to punish Shiites, which is the most dangerous level of tyranny.

He stressed that Bahrain needs a comprehensive reform that provides security, safety, stability and freedom for all on an equal footing and points out the importance of a comprehensive political project that would move the country to a state of true constitutional and national consensus.

He demanded the arbitration of the national will, which provides all citizens with religious freedom to practice their rites and rites are equal. He renewed the rejection of the infringement of religious freedom for all sects and individuals.

Political detainees in Jau Central Prison said that the prison administration has officially prevented them from commemorating the Ashura ceremonies under the pretext of “violations.”

The detainee of conscience, Hussain Hilal Ahmed, stated in a leaked recording that Bahrain, “despite its claim to protect religious freedoms, informed us in Building 7 (formerly Building 15) not to allow us to perform our religious rituals.”

He explained that the ban came from a number of officers, most notably Al-Ruwai’i and Ahmed Al-Emadi, and the ban came because of what they called “the presence of some violations.”

The detainee indicated that this ban was not the first and had happened in the past months, so the inmates of Building 7 organized a peaceful sit-in inside the prison, according to which they refused to enter the rooms.

The prison police only threatened to use force if the sit-in was not dispersed, and after the sit-in was dispersed, the building’s inmates were punished by taking them out to the outer courtyard for only 20 minutes per room alone. If the room’s inmates stayed longer than the permitted period, the entire dormitory would be punished and granted from going out to the external courtyard.

In another leaked recording, detainee Osama al-Saghir confirmed the news of the ban on religious rites, stressing that political prisoners are “targeted and sectarian fighters,” and the official media is a partner in persecution and blinding the systematic violations against them.

Another prisoner of conscience called on anyone who claims that prisoners are exercising their rights to come to Building 7 in Jau Central Prison to see first-hand what they are being subjected to of transgressions and contempt for religious rites.

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