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BFHR: Diraz Siege, Official Incitement Confirm State's Fixed policy of Persecution, Sectarian Discrimination and Political Repression

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights stressed that the authorities' siege of Diraz to prevent citizens from performing Friday prayers at the Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque for the second week in a row, in conjunction with official incitement campaigns against religious speech, reflects the complex of persecution, sectarian discrimination and political repression as the state's fixed policy.

The forum condemned in a statement on Friday (June 16, 2023) "the return of these procedures after the end of the arbitrary arrest of His Eminence Sheikh Mohammad Sanqour, the Friday preacher of this mosque, amid an official environment that still provides political immunity for those involved in spreading hate speeches during the past years."

It also deplored the official incitement campaigns against the religious speech in print and broadcast (television and radio) media, stressing that "these campaigns target speeches that practice freedom of religion and belief and freedom of opinion and expression."

It noted that the return of these measures reflects the complex of persecution, political discrimination and political repression as a fixed policy of state that can be developed and modernized for political and retaliatory purposes, as in the case of closing the door of Sa'asa'a bin Souhan shrine amid silence of the Jaafari Endowments.

The forum stressed that "the Ministry of Interior and its agencies such as the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science, are ready to promptly implement policies of political repression," referring to the statement issued last month (May 2023) which included phrases like "not allowing the clock to turn back", being a clear hatred speech which came as a result of an arbitrary arrest, restriction of freedom, and ongoing incitement to undermine freedom of speech under the pretext of "rationalizing religious speech".

Arabic Version