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US Organization: Bahraini Regime Considers Ashura Political Threat

2022-01-18 - 8:44 p

Bahrain Mirror: A report issued by the American (ACLED) organization said that the Bahraini regime considers the Shiite religious Ashura season a political threat and suppresses mourning rituals.

Al-Wefaq quoted the organization, which is funded by the US State Department, as saying that the Bahraini regime has suppressed religious activities belonging to the Shiite community, particularly the Ashura season, noting that the regime imposed strict restrictions on the Ashura rituals under the pretext of stopping the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

"The Bahraini authorities limited the display of Ashura banners, limited attendance at houses of worship to 30 vaccinated adult individuals, and banned children from attending Ashura rituals. Ashura-related repression especially targeted religious leaders and prisoners. Bahraini authorities arrested and summoned preachers, eulogy reciters and matams directors for taking part in Ashura commemorations," the report said.

"Around 42% of all repression events recorded in the country between January and October 2021, indicative of continued repression of Shiite civilians and religious leaders due to their involvement in 2020 Ashura rituals."

The report said that oppression reached prisons. Authorities prevented political prisoners from commemorating Ashura. "Shiite prisoners were denied the right to celebrate Ashura and punished if they performed rituals," it explained. ACLED-Religion data show that these two categories - religious leaders and prisoners - account for around 26% of repression victims in Bahrain.

ACLED collects real-time data on the locations, dates, actors, fatalities, and types of all reported political violence and protest events across 200 countries all over the world.

ACLED is a registered non-profit organization in the United States. It receives financial support from the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the United States Department of State, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Tableau Foundation, the International Organization for Migration, and The University of Texas at Austin.

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