Al Khalifa armored vehicles deployed to enforce ban on Shiite Friday Prayers in Diraz

Al Khalifa armored vehicles deployed to enforce ban on Shiite Friday Prayers in Diraz

Activists posted images online showing police vehicles along with concrete and steel barricades lining the streets in Diraz and blocking-off access to the Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Manama’s security forces deployed armored vehicles across Bahrain’s northwestern village of Diraz in an apparent bid to enforce a ban on Friday prayers at the local Shiite mosque.

Activists posted images online showing police vehicles along with concrete and steel barricades lining the streets in Diraz and blocking-off access to the Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque.

By noontime, only a small number of worshipers managed to gain access to the mosque to perform individual prayers.

The ban, which has been in place since June 2016, is widely seen as the collective punishment of Diraz’s 30,000 residents and part of Manama’s systematic discrimination against Bahrain’s Shiite majority.

The ban was imposed after local residents expressed solidarity with the kingdom’s highest religious authority, Sheikh Isa Qassim, who had his citizenship revoked and was placed under house arrest for speaking out against the regime.



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