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BFHR: Arbitrary Detention of Sheikh Mohammad Sanqour Portends New Wave Targeting Religious Freedoms

2023-05-25 - 9:29 am

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights called on the regime to immediately and unconditionally release Sheikh Mohammad Sanqour, considering "the arbitrary detention of a distinguished religious figure who exercised his right to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of religion and belief portends a new wave of targeting religious freedoms."

BFHR noted in a statement it issued on Tuesday (May 23, 2023) that "the legitimate criticism presented by Sheikh Sanqour over attempt to falsify some school courses in the Ministry of Education by passing educational materials to perpetuate the state of normalization with the Israeli occupation entity, even though they distort the reality of the Palestinian cause, come in the light of security authorities' criminalizing of anyone who criticizes normalization."

The BFHR added that the call launched by Sheikh Sanqour to end the suffering of prisoners of conscience by releasing them coincides with all international human rights calls that affirm the right of political detainees to immediate freedom.

It pointed out that the tone of the statement issued by the Interior Ministry, which included phrases such as "the clock cannot turn back" reminds us of the pleadings of the Public Prosecution in many unfair trials that have been criticized by international human rights organizations and described as reflecting "political persecution" and "false justice."

The BFHR further said that the statement of the Public Prosecution Office indicates that the investigation was over a sermon that "contained false news that would harm public order and disturb public peace," however, the sermon was about conditions of political detainees who complain of ill-treatment or whose news has been cut off after information reported that they were being ill-treated. Although the judicial authorities are aware of many complaints of torture and ill-treatment, they still perpetuate policy of impunity.

"Why does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs still refuse the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to Bahrain? Isn't it out of fear that he might see the conditions of hundreds in prisons who are complaining of torture or ill-treatment?" it wondered.

Sheikh Sanqour had said, in his Friday sermon, that "if the change in the educational curricula of everything that harms the Zionists and the Zionist entity were to proceed at the pace at which it began, it would have been a serious threat to the identity of this country, its religion, values and pillars."

Sheikh Sanqour called on the competent parties to "reassure people and prisoners' families about their sons' conditions."

Arabic Version