The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights Monitoring reported the security authorities’ summoning of 9 Bahraini citizens due to their attendance of Friday prayers in the Diraz area and the chants repeated by the citizens before prayer.
The Center stated in a press statement received by “Bahraini Lex” a copy of it that the citizens were summoned to the South Hamad Police Station, where they were questioned about how they entered Diraz when they went to participate in Friday prayers. They were required to sign an undertaking to appear at the police station upon request.
The Center confirmed that unofficially, the security authorities consider performing prayers outside the residential area a crime and expressing the freedom of expression by rejecting normalization with the occupying entity through popular chants is also a crime.
It emphasized that this represents “one of the strangest forms of political repression, sectarian persecution, and violations of freedom of religion, belief, and freedom of movement.”
Two days ago, a human rights report documented the policy of the Bahraini regime authorities in erasing the heritage and authenticity of Shiite citizens in the country within the framework of the religious persecution practised against them.
The report, issued by the Peace Organization for Democracy and Human Rights, reviewed the Maqam Sa’sa bin Sohanah, considered the oldest Islamic antiquity in Bahrain, and how it is subjected to continuous sabotage and destruction.
This is due to the official authorities concerned, who have not taken the necessary measures to protect this religious heritage. The report highlights the major challenges facing Shiite citizens in preserving their cultural and religious heritage.
The report stated that the Maqam Sa’sa bin Sohanah al-Abdi, the distinguished companion of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, is located in the village of Askar, south of the capital Manama, and its history dates back more than thirteen hundred years.
However, it is subjected to repeated targeting and increasing destruction, which threatens to erase one of the most important heritage and authenticity of Bahraini Shiites under the eyes of the concerned authorities.
The organization emphasized that cultural heritage carries great value for any society and that the government must be committed to protecting and preserving it.
It stressed that the official authorities in Bahrain must take urgent measures to stop this ongoing sabotage and secure the Maqam from any potential harm.
In addition, the Bahraini authorities must comply with international conventions and local laws that protect the rights of cultural and religious communities. Freedom of worship and the establishment of rituals should be guaranteed for everyone, regardless of their religious affiliation.
The report includes the legal framework and also refers to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural and Natural World Heritage, in which the Kingdom of Bahrain is a party according to Decree No. 3 of 1991.
The report also reviews the violations suffered by the Maqam Sa’sa bin Sohanah during the past years.
Sayed Abbas Shubber, the religious freedoms official in the Peace Organization, said, “The report currently presented reveals the legal framework and international conventions that Bahrain is committed to, including the Convention for the Protection of Cultural and Natural World Heritage, in which Bahrain is a party.”
The human rights organization urged the Bahraini government to take urgent measures to stop the ongoing sabotage and secure the Maqam Sa’sa bin Sohanah from any potential harm.
It emphasized that “protecting and preserving cultural and religious heritage is an expression of the government’s commitment to the rights of cultural and religious communities. Everyone should be free to worship and perform rituals freely and peacefully, regardless of their religious affiliation.”
It also emphasized the need for the Bahraini authorities to comply with the constitution and local laws and to work on stopping this sabotage and protecting the Maqam Sa’sa bin Sohanah and the heritage of Bahraini Shiites.
The Peace Organization called on the Bahraini government to respond to the recommendations presented in the report and take the necessary measures to preserve this important cultural heritage and ensure freedom of religious practice for all.
It stressed the need to increase awareness and societal education about the importance of preserving cultural heritage and promoting the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among all members of society.