Bahrain Clerics Appeal to HRC: Sectarian Persecution Reached Dangerous Levels
2016-09-11 - 4:33 am
Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's Shiite clerics sent a letter to the Head of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the diplomatic missions of Member States at the Geneva council during its 33rd session.
They declared in their letter that the rising sectarian persecution against the Shiite majority is reaching dangerous levels.
In their letter dated Friday (September 9, 2016) the reigious scholars listed a chain of governmental actions that was recently conducted against the Shiite majority, most serious was the trial of Shiite spiritual leader in Bahrain, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, and the revocation of his citizenship, on the basis of performing a Shiite religious obligation (Khums).
They also shed light on the siege imposed on Diraz, and the prevention of holding Friday Prayers in the Imam Sadiq Mosque in the Diraz area, the arrest of Head of Ulama Council, Sayyed Majid al-Mashaal, the prosecution of prominent Shiite scholars and the arrest of many.
Moreover, the list included the marginalization of Shiites in educational systems, jobs, and scholarships, the assault against the Shiite religious rituals, the demolishing of Shiite Mosques, restriction of Shiite religious obligations like Khums and religious sermons, and the prevention of Scholars and worshippers from performing Friday prayers.
The Bahraini clerics denied any demands of creating a sectarian state, assuring that the popular demands are summed up to linking the fate and benefits of a nation to a constitution that does not lack the power of the people, with a free and just election in the parliament.
Moreover, the scholars indicated that the people still demand equal citizenship and non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or sect, and with regard to religious rites, they confirmed that the authorities are supposed to protect their identity rather than interfere in their affairs.
Since the sectarian persecution reached dangerous levels in Bahrain, the religious scholars called for "pressuring the Bahraini authorities to end the sectarian persecution, allowing the UN Special Rapporteur on religious freedoms to visit Bahrain, condemning the cases of persecution and sectarian discrimination."
Furthermore, they called for demanding the Bahraini government to immediately release all prisoners of conscience and opinion, among them Shiite religious clerics and opposition leaders and activists. Among the demands also were demanding the Bahraini government to implement the BICI and Geneva recommendations, and to resort to national reconciliation that reflects the popular will.
They finally called for demanding the government to put an end to the siege on Diraz, and provide international protection of peaceful protesters of that area.
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