Harassment against Shia in Bahrain intensifies; Authorities ban memorial ceremony of top Shiite cleric

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The campaign launched by the Bahraini security authorities against the Shiite majority in the country is intensifying as more arbitrary measures are being taken. Lately, Hamad town has been a target of the authorities' repressive measures.

According to information, the authorities summoned a number of Shiite clerics four days ago. Officer Turki Al-Majed informed Sheikh Ali Rahma, Sheikh Ali Al-Jufairi, Sheikh Hussein Marzouq and Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sayyad that holding a memorial ceremony for Shiite religious authority Sayed Mohammad Baqer Al-Sadr is "forbidden by higher orders."

These summoned clerics protested against this decision and inquired about the reason behind taking such a measure. Al-Majed stated that it is banned since Al-Sadr is not a Bahraini figure. They argued that Saddam Hussein is also non-Bahraini but he was commemorated in Bahrain on multiple occasions. Al-Majed; however, refused to listen and obliged them to sign a pledge in that regard, so that they could be released.

This escalation comes as part of a new official policy adopted by the authorities in the Gulf kingdom since June 2016, aimed at targeting Shiite clerics, especially after stripping the citizenship of the Shia spiritual leader in the country Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.

Since June, government forces have summoned dozens of Shia clerics, and arrested a number of them over charges of "illegal assembly" and "inciting hatred against the ruling system".



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