Persecution of Shia Muslims In Bahrain

Shia Rights Watch’s executive director Mustafa Akhwand is invited to the conference titled “Persecution of Shia in Bahrain,” for a two day summit in Brussels. This summit is organized by SALAM for human rights and justice and No Peace without Justice(NPWJ), to promote and protect human rights and democracy in the Middle East and in Bahrain in particular.
There are many objectives in this summit, a closer look at the history of Shia in Bahrain, political challenges and freedom of religion. Despite all the effort of stopping violence against Shia in Bahrain, government is not willing to respect their citizens and give them dignity they are entitled to according to the International Laws. Shia Rights Watch’s director Mustafa Akhwand will analyze the conflict in Bahrain as “Structural Violence” that is causing the history of Bahrain to collapse in near future, This Summit will shed light on facts regarding “Bahrain government aiming to destroy the Shia history, ruining the future generation of Shia.” said Mr. Akhwand, and also added his optimism for seeing results and change people and NGOs collectively work together and aim for commonalities as opposed to differences in solving problems.

Women Empowerment, Major Step in Peace, reconciliation & Capacity Building

ShiaRightsWatch_300_dpi Freemuslim Association

Women Empowerment

Launch of SRW Women

Major Step in Peace, reconciliation & Capacity Building

A conference to discuss the social, civil, and religious rights of women, held by Shia Rights Watch Inc. at the 31st Human Rights Council, in Geneva, Switzerland on the 10th of March.

Hosted by Shia Rights Watch and Freemuslim Association, this will enable attendees to come together and learn more about the challenges faced by women globally and emphasize on practical step towards peace, reconciliation, and capacity building.

Shia Rights Watch Launches its SRWomen wing, focusing on raising awareness about Rights of Women and Girls.

Shia Rights hopes to contribute to betterment in status of women and girls in troubled regions, through cooperating with other organizations dedicated to protection and advocacy of rights of women

In this event,  Polisario Front Representative Ms. Miamine Abdeslam addressed challenges Western Sahara Women faced starting in 1970s,  and shared lessons learned and preventive measures were suggested by Ms. abdeslam for Shia women and Minorities around the globe to utilize the unfortunate events of past towards productive measures to achieve results in case of innocent Women and girls in Middle East and other regions of the world.

Mr. Ali Al- Ahmad, Executive Director of Gulf Institute, and Founder of ‘No Woman, No Play,’ initiative and emphasized on importance of sport in mental and physical health being of Women globally, and in particular countries where women are prevented from being active and be part of sport teams.

Ms. Nadia Alkotbi, Iraqi Woman Organization, shed light on disabled women , either by life events; or due to terror attacks through out the Middle East, and ways to include disabled women and girls in jobs, organizations, and other entities.

Launch of SRWomen at Human Rights Council, facilitated opportunity for Non Governmental Organizations to discuss Women Empowerment initiatives and productive measures to prevent rights of Women.

Focusing on:

  • Capacity Building at Home, Psychology of Effective Change
  • Girls of Today, Women Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Migration, Integration and Adopting Change; the Road Ahead
  • Woman Rights, National and International Challenges


Speak UP to STOP Shia Mass Killings


Join SRW, and number of other NGOs today as they speak up

Nigerian Embassy 3519 International Ct NW, Washington, DC 20008 at 2:00

A Rose for Peace

A Rose for Peace Campaign- 2015

A Rose for Peace is a campaign designed in response to the anti-Islam protest titled Global Rally for Humanity. As many are planning to gather in front of number of mosques in US cities to express their hatred towards American Muslims, Shia Rights Watch and Muslim Women Network of South California get together to spread Islam’s peace message through rose distributions in the heart of Washington DC.
The campaign is planned for Monday October 12th at Farragut Square Park located at 17th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20006. Join us at noon to be part of this peaceful campaign.


State Department Eid Al-Fitr reception

Shia Rights Watch attended the State Department’s Eid al Fitr Reception this evening. Featured guests included the Imam of largest mosque in North America President “Islamic Center of America” Sayed Hassan Qazvini, producer of the Burka Avenger cartoon series, UMAA Representative, leaders of NGO’s and representative of countries embassy. The Deputy Secretary Antony J. Blinken  and Secretary Kerry welcomed everyone with message of peace and coexistence.


Children in Bahrain: From Playground to Prison

A side event co-hosted by

Shia Rights Watch, Sentinel Human Rights Defenders and Freemuslim Association
Friday 19 June 2015 at 17.00-18.30

Room XXII, Palais des Nations United Nations Headquarters in Geneva

Since early 2011, the Bahraini government has engaged in an unprecedented campaign to criminalize freedom of speech and expression, association and assembly.
In September 2012 the UPR report on Bahrain was welcomed and the International Community urged the government to implement fully the accepted recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI). Nevertheless, the government has continued the suppression and harassment and there are now more people in the prison system than ever before, causing overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and furthering inhumane treatment.
Of greatest concern are the children who share the same fate as adults, accused and imprisoned on trumped up charges, to the extent that they are not dealt with in a manner that respects the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in any way. They are forcibly taken from their homes, schools or while at play, are physically brutalised and forced to become informants, and incarcerated in adult prisons as hostages to quell dissent in the broader family. The number of children currently detained in Bahraini adult prison facilities, and without access to medical care or education, has risen to more than 500.
Elsewhere police dogs are lead around inside classrooms, and tear gas has been used outside the schools at home-time which has caused panic and has an adverse health impact. Children have been shot at with tear gas canisters and peppered with shotgun pellets (bird shot) while at play in the street or when accompanying their parents on market stalls or elsewhere. Each of these abuses displays total violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Bahrain in 1992.
In an effort to encourage positive, productive engagement, and appealing for international attention and pressure to address the situation in Bahrain, we aim to discuss strategies to hold the government of Bahrain accountable for denying the rights of children, demand to take practical steps to address the concerns reflected in the UPR debate, and most urgently to immediately release all children and youths held in custody under false allegations. Youths charged of criminal offences should be provided legal and other appropriate assistance as prescribed by the UNCRC.
This event lends us the exceptional challenge to examine the destructive effect of the criminalisation of children in Bahrain and will tackle crucial matters of international concern around the Bahraini Governments attitude towards the children of families whose allegiance is under suspicion.

Hussein Conference

Shia Rights Watch was proud to have presence in the conference of Imam Hussein this year in Chicago, the conference was organized by the Universal Muslim Association of America, which hold the largest Shia event in northern America.

This three day conference was organized to present the message of peace and solidarity towards oppressed Shia all around the world.  Shia Muslims always have shown the true meaning of faith and humanity toward all minorities, respecting others and bringing the message of Islam in its true meaning of Peace. Presence of human rights activists, scholars and NGOs in this conference brought together great networking tools to be able work hand in hand toward understanding the religion and presenting it in right way.

Many activist, writers and scholars met Shia Rights Watch’s director, Mustafa Akhwand, showing their support to the message of peace and non-violence. “It is very important that the west know why Shia Muslims are a minority with majority violent against them,” said Mustafa Akhwand. Shia Muslims have always campaigned to bring peace and justice to the region without hesitating to support, help and live with people of other faith.

Summary of Briefing “Understanding the ISIS Threat”

Shia_Rights_Watch_Event2014Shia Rights Watch and Muslim Public Affairs Council successfully had their briefing on ISIS and its threat on the Capitol Hill on Monday the 29th. 

The briefing focused on U.S policy to degrade and defeat ISIS including the recent airstrikes in Syria. Also the panelist addressed the issue of Americans and Europeans traveling aboard to join ISIS. The second panel focused on the testimonials from three different targeted populations in Iraq. Representatives from Shia Muslims, Iraqi Ezidis and Christians had an opportunity to share their experience and pain with audience.

Number of congressman’s staffers, university professors, human rights activist and religious leaders were among audience. 

 Panel One:

Jomana Qaddour addressed the improvements of ISIS in Syria, 

Haris Tarin addressed the underlying problems that attracts youth to ISIS such as “Jihadi Cool” effect, mental health and restoring dignity,

Panel Two:

Shia_Rights_Watch_Event2014_3Dakhil Shammo Elias, representative of Iraqi Ezidi community shared the status of his community and also explained historical oppression of Ezidi community in Iraq,

Martin Manna, representative of Iraqi Chaldean community talked about displacement of Christian population in Iraq, and

Kadhim Al-Waeli, the representative of Iraqi Shia explained Shia targeted killings and human rights violations by ISIS in this country.

For both Christian and Ezidi leaders it was the first time that two Muslim NGOs have invited them to express their pain along with others. SRW believes all minorities and impacted communities must come together in order to defeat extremists. This organization is thank full to MPAC for their co-sponsorship and hopes to see more NGOs join the coalitions against terrorists.

Understanding the ISIS Threat


Understanding the ISIS Threat

Monday, September 29, 2014   

Cannon Caucus Room: 304 Cannon House Office Building

12:30 PM to 2:30 PM

For RSVP Click Here

How is ISIS impacting policy and living circumstances in Iraq and Syria? A conference cosponsored by SRW and MPAC will explore this important question. This briefing will focus on U.S. policy to degrade and defeat ISIS including the recent air strikes in Syria targeting ISIS, and addressing the issue of Americans traveling abroad to fight with terrorist groups. The briefing will also focus on the persecuted communities targeted by ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. 

Two panels’ discussions will focus on policy and on-ground experiences of Iraqi targeted populations. Well known policy experts and researchers are gathered to share their perspectives about the impact of ISIS in Middle East. Also native Iraqi Shia, Christian and Ezidi will share their experiences as members of targeted population by ISIS.  

Panel One:  Assessing U.S. Policy

  •         Jomana Qaddour:  Leader  of  Caerus’ research and analysis initiatives focusing on the Middle East and Northern Africa
  •         William McCants:  Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of its Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
  •         Imam Mohamed Magid: Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)

Panel Two: Testimonies from Persecuted Communities 

  •         Dakhil Shammo Elias:  Director of the American Ezidi Center.Ezidi journalist, writer and editor and host in Voice of America TV and radio programs.
  •         Martin Manna:  The President of The Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and the Chaldean Community Foundation and one of the founders and publishers of The Chaldean News. Martin is a Director and helps coordinate the affairs of the Nineveh Council of America, an advocacy group for Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities.
  •         Kadhim Al-Waeli: Political Activist and social media Analyst.

“Did You Know” Campaign

At noon on Thursday July 31st, Haley Bibbee and Skye Thompson, two SRW interns, went out to Farragut Square of Washington, DC to carry out their “Did You Know” campaign. Through the campaign, they wanted to inform the public of what was going on in other parts of the world to the Shia minority and the universal human rights that were not being granted to them.

The campaign consisted mainly of two parts: a poster board including religion demographic breakdown for six countries (Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Lebanon) and a handful of over one hundred playing cards with Shia facts written on them. Out on the square, they informed numerous people of things that aren’t broadcasted on the news, such as the multiple prayer centers that have been shut down and the complete banning of the religion’s teachings in certain countries. Many who stopped by got really invested in the topic and inquired about subject they felt mattered but hadn’t known about. The interns talked about what Shia is and how their community is being treated, making comparisons to the listener’s own affiliations, anywhere between their own religion to their political stances and down to their race, so that they could sympathize with what these people were going through in other parts of the world. Out of all of the people that they talked to, the only people that had truly known of the facts written on the cards were those that were originally from those countries and the Middle East region.

When they returned from their time out on the square, they came back with the realization that Americans never trouble themselves with what is going on outside of the United Nations unless it has something to do with a fellow American. They said that this is the reason why we must go out and talk to people about these things, because if we don’t, they will never know.