The government of Bahrain had recently arrested a number of scholars and investigated with others, some of whom had been previously detained as well. According to sources clarified that the detainees had been charged with accusations on basis of preaches delivered in religious assemblies organized by the Shiite sect in mosques and Ma’tams in Bahrain.
According to information, the number of detainees was five scholars and preachers, who are: Sheikh Abd al-Muhsin Mulla Atiyah al-Jamri, Sheikh Ali Rahma, Sheikh Ali bin Ahmad al-Jadhafsi, Mulla Abdul-Zahraa al-Samahiji, and Mulla Qasim Zain al-Din. Three among them are still detained until the moment, namely Mulla Abdul-Zahraa who had been arrested on January 13, 2020, and charged with criticizing historical figures in one of his preaches. He was arrested for 7 days, then for 15 days.
As for Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin, he was arrested on January 21, 2020, with the same accusation, and detained for 7 days according to the investigations.
Mulla Qassim was arrested on January 29, 2020, and is scheduled for a public prosecution on the 30th of this January.
Bahrain Interfaith believes that the state’s continuous arrests of Shiite scholars and preachers affirms what had been revealed in the report of the American Committee for Religious Freedom (USCIRF), about the continued harassment and restrictions imposed on Shiite citizens in the country on basis of their religious practices. This perpetuates Shiite citizens’ feelings of the presence of a systematic persecution, discrimination, and restriction on performing their religious rites and rituals.
These unjustified procedures reinforce the need on reforming the judiciary in Bahrain, and urge, once again, on the importance of abiding by international laws and covenants which guarantee religious freedom, especially with Bahrain today being in dire need of improving the atmosphere of general freedoms for building trust and credibility between the different parties, which would preserve the state of peace, harmony, and tolerance between the components of society.
Kingdom of Bahrain – January 30, 2020.