Bahrain Interfaith welcomes the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2017 Annual report. Released on the 26th of April 2016, the report addresses the numerous human rights violations perpetrated by the governments within the year of 2016.
Bahrain chapter is addressed in under Tier 2 countries, the countries in which religious freedom conditions do not rise to the statutory level that would mandate a CPC designation but require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by governments.
The chapter on Bahrain details the ongoing abuses by the government against the majority of the kingdom’s population. The majority Shia is subjected to increased interrogations, abuses, and arbitrary arrests by the government. The measures taken by the authorities targeting Shi’a Muslims, including clerics, come over “peaceful protests and criticizing the government’s human rights and religious freedom record.”
“The government still has not adequately held high-level security officials accountable for serious abuses, which included targeting, imprisoning, torturing, and killing predominantly Shi’a demonstrators”, the USCIRF noted.
The report have found that: “Since June, Bahraini authorities interrogated, charged, and/or sentenced at least 80 Shi’a clerics, imposing travel bans against several.”
The report has also denied the government’s claims regarding the demolished mosques stating: “Despite a self-imposed deadline of the end of 2014, the Bahraini government has not fully completed rebuilding all 30 of the destroyed religious structures identified in the BICI report. In July 2016, the government claimed to have spent approximately US$10 million—up from $8 million the previous year—to rebuild Shi’a mosques and religious structures, more than twice what it pledged in 2012.”
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