BahrainHuman RightsMiddle East

Amnesty International condemns Bahrain’s sectarian harassment of inmates during Muharram

Amnesty International has denounced Bahraini authorities over mistreatment of inmates during the lunar calendar month of Muharram, the 10th day of which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam and grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The London-based rights organization, in a post published on its official Twitter page, stated that prison officials have lately confiscated religious articles from the prisoners as they have done over the past years.

It censured the measure as “a form of sectarian harassment that serves no security purpose whatsoever.”

Bahraini regime forces have on occasions attacked Shia prisoners as the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty does not shy away from its heavy-handed crackdown against prominent figures and followers of the majority religious community in the country.

Arabic-language Lualua television network, citing a post published on the official Twitter page of Zeinab Khamis – a member of Bahrain Human Rights Society, reported on June 18 that prison guards had stormed into Building 4 of the notorious Jau Prison, and assaulted the inmates as they were marking the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (PBUH) – the sixth Shia Imam and founder of the Ja’fari school of jurisprudence, who died on the 25th day of the lunar calendar month of Shawwal more than 13 centuries ago.

Last May, Bahraini authorities prevented imprisoned Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Mirza al-Mahrous from receiving appropriate medication and refused to allow him to have a much-needed surgery.

His family said officials at Jau Prison had prevented him from undergoing an emergency operation, voicing grave concerns over the wellbeing of the ailing cleric, according to Arabic-language and independent Manama Post online newspaper.

Back on August23, 2017, Bahraini regime forces attacked dozens of Shia inmates at the same detention facility as they were marking the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (PBUH) — the ninth Shia Imam, who died on the 29th day of the lunar calendar month of Dhul Qa’dah more than 12 centuries ago.

Lualua television network reported at the time that prison guards had stormed into Building 14 of the jail, and started beating the mourners.

Hundreds of inmates are currently being held behind bars at Jau Prison, which is Bahrain’s main detention facility, for their participation in peaceful pro-democracy rallies.

Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals on March 5, 2017. The move drew widespread condemnation from human rights bodies and activists, and was described as imposition of an undeclared martial law across the country.

Bahrain’s monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah rubber-stamped the constitutional amendment on April 3 that year.

The Persian Gulf kingdom has seen anti-regime protests over the past nine years. The major demand has been the ouster of the Al Khalifah regime and the establishment of a just and conclusive system representing all Bahraini nationals.

The Manama regime, in return, has ignored the calls and is pressing ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations with the help of Saudi and the UAE forces.

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