Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On the second day of Muharram, Bahraini authorities continued to target Ashura manifestations in towns and villages, while officials and officers inspected obsequies and met with their heads.
Civilian forces affiliated with the Ministry of Interior, with the help of Asian workers from the municipality, removed Ashura banners and flags in Al-Sahla, Musalla, Bilad Al-Qadeem and Hamad Town.
The forces also removed Ashura manifestations near the house of late Haj Isa Abdulhassan Al-Sawad in Sitra, leading to verbal altercations between residents and security forces.
For his part, opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif commented on the authorities' actions, wondering "What harm do black flags cause?"
He added via his Twitter account that "commemorating the martyrdom of Al-Hussein by raising black flags and slogans that remind us of his global message against injustice and tyranny is firmly rooted in our society."
"A country that brags about religious freedoms should respect people's beliefs in commemorating Ashura without security interference, and be an example for its citizens of denominational tolerance," Ibrahim Sharif said.
Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain condemned "the act practiced by the authorities every year on the anniversary of Ashura."
The rights organization deemed, via its Twitter account, what is taking place "a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of expression and religious freedoms". It added that through these actions, Bahrain has violated its commitment to international laws and conventions.
While the governor of the Northern Hovernorate, Ali Al-Asfour, accompanied by interior ministry officers, inspected the Al-Ghasra obsequy in Bani Jamra, the governorate police summoned citizens for interrogation over hanging Ashura flags atop their houses.
The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society noted that the Bahraini regime summoned a number of citizens in the fourth roundabout area in Hamad city because they hung an Imam Hussein banner atop their homes.
The police ordered citizens to take down flags from their homes and made them sign pledges not to repeat this act, or else they would be referred to the Public Prosecution and punished.
The Capital Governor Hisham Al Khalifa and officers also visited a number of obsequies in Manama for inspection, calling for "adherence to the precautionary measures announced by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments."
Meanwhile, it was reported that the Interior Ministry expelled Iraqi preacher Sayed Hisham Al-Batat from the country, on the grounds that he did not have the necessary license to participate in Ashura commemoration.
Sayed Al-Batat issued a statement saying that he was supposed to "participate with the honorable people of Bahrain in commemorating Ashura, especially Al-Madhoub family and my beloved people in Barbar; however, fate had other plans."