USCIRF in its Annual Report: Restrictions Imposed on Shia Happen in Context of Broader Campaign against Opposition
2020-02-21 - 6:35 p
Bahrain Mirror: The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom said that the restrictions imposed on the Shiite sect in Bahrain are happening in the context of a broader campaign against the Bahraini opposition.
The commission added in its 2019 annual report that the systematic and ongoing restrictions on the religious freedom of Shiites in Bahrain are not based on legitimate concerns as justified by the government.
Documenting what happened last year, the USCIRF explained that Bahraini security authorities forced a Shiite cleric to explain a prayer "god curse the killers of Hussein" and questioned another cleric about his prayers for the prisoners, considering it a political speech.
It added that the authorities summoned last year 5 eulogy reciters and 6 obsequy administrators. The committee documented at least 17 cases of removing banners and slogans related to Ashura.
The USCIRF say that the Bahraini government uses the pretext of "Iran support" to crack down on Shia and opposition leaders, noting that this has led to deporting and revoking nationalities of several peaceful dissidents, according to the report.