International Religious Freedom 2015 Report with Shia Rights Watch summary

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor International Religious Freedom released their 2015 Report on August 10th detailing human rights violations, including some of what Shia face around the world.

At Shia Rights Watch (SRW) we welcome this report and the attention given to the important issue of human right. Shia Rights Watch hopes to see more detailed report in following years with more collaboration between State Department and right NGOs.

We believe highlighting minority rights in such reports will raise attention to these groups and result in more international effort to recognize and protect all human rights.

The following summary is what is reported by Bureau of Democracy followed by SRW findings that were not included in the IRF report.

  • Afghanistan

Several incidents with the  Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP, showed a targeting of Shia Hazara minorities in kidnapping and beheadings. On different occasions the ISKP targeting Shias resulting in the death of 11, the beheading of four men, two women and one girl. Later in the year the same terrorist organization kidnapped 11 Hazaras  and an additional 30 on a separate incident while also being responsible for the October 9th attack on a Shia religious center in Kabul.

SRW confirmed death of 46 Shia, 57 wounded and 100 arrests.

  • Azerbaijan

The government detained approximately 46 religious leaders and placed limits on the publishing and distribution of religious texts. The response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs was to detain an additional 38 people with charges that human rights activists claim to be fabricated, restrict travel access to the city, and to search homes. Other press reports also show an incident in which Imam Taleh, leader of the independent Muslim Unity movement was severely beaten by Yasamal police.  On March 10th, the government also arrested  theologian, Jeyhun Jafarov with charges of treason.  His religious activities such as leading pilgrimages, television broadcasts, and translation of Iranian literature has led him to still be imprisoned and awaiting at the end of 2015. Lastly, the government has also been accused of demolishing an “unregistered” mosque, placing its founder under investigation.

According to SRW 2015 report, 9 Shia were killed and 35 were arrested in this year.

  • Bahrain

Bahrain, a Shia majority country led by a Sunni government has seen systematic oppression of the Shia through arrests, travel bans, revoked citizenship and more.  The government has detained protesters, journalists, and human rights activists. In June 2015, a court sentence Sheikh Ali Salman to four years of prison.In August the government also issued an additional arrest to Sheikh Hasan Isa.  Government crackdowns on terrorist investigations resulted in 25 Shia to be tried and convicted, with one defendant given the death penalty while other received ten to life in jail. Bahraini authorities have also revoked the citizenship of 72 accused terrorist supports, including both Shia and Sunni. Other acts of anti-shi’ism include discrimination in employment and education in addition to anti-shia commentary in private broadcasts or in vandalism of Shia mosques and the destruction of grave sights.

The Ministry of Interior promised to rebuild the 30 mosques that the government destroyed however only 27 have seen reconstruction. At educational institutes, Shia students applicants are granted less lucrative or prestigious scholarships in fields they did not wish to pursue.  Discrimination is also found in the naturalized process with a Sunni preference, granting Sunnis an expedited process as an attempt to alter the demographic of the nation. On a whole, the larger unemployment rate for Shia shows they are marginalized at large with a lower socio-economic status compared to Bahraini Sunni.

Based on SRW records 393 case of Shia arrest, 97 wounded in attacks and one killed.

  • Bangladesh

While issues of discrimination and religious freedom for religious minorities as a whole is a prominent issue in Bangladesh, the country has seen several incidents of anti-shia crimes. On October 24th, a bomb attack on a Shia Ashura celebration resulted in two deaths and scores injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in addition to a November 26  attack on  Shia mosque in Borga that killed one and injured 3. According to the report, religious minorities claim that discrimination also exists in exam questions that drew from the majority religion. Additionally, a lack of minorities teachers resulted in minority students being unable to enroll in classes of their faith.

  • Egypt

Egypt’s 800,000 – 2 million Shia live under an oppressive government. The Egyptian government continues to use anti-Shia rhetoric, harasses the Shia, and takes away their right to worship. The government bans the importation and sale of Shia literature, the media is filled with anti-Shia hate speech, and Shia are seen as deviant from true Islam. A committee has also been formed to investigate any NGO that is suspected of promoting or practicing Shia Islam. The committee has raided institutions, confiscated religious books and arrested leaders. There have also been reports of a retired doctor and others being arrested and sentenced to 5-6 years in jail for “adhering to the Shia faith.” Their crime was transporting Shia CD’s and books. The government has also closed important Shia religious sites, especially during special holidays, saying that She practices are “falsehoods,” with  “no connection to Islam.”

Four Shia arrest was confirmed by SRW during this year.

  • Indonesia

The Indonesian Shia face heavy discrimination and hate speech. The National Anti-Shia Movement (ANNAS) has held several anti-Shia demonstrations, and openly calls Shia the “deviant sect.” Additionally, one mayor banned the observance of a Shia holiday, and posters of anti-Shia rhetoric are common throughout the country, websites, and social media. There have also been accounts of detained Shia being forced to repent and renounce their faith. Additionally, many of the Shia IDPs are not able to return to their homes because the other residents refuse to allow them back in.

  • Iran

While Shia Islam is the official religion of Iran, Shia who do not agree with the practices of the government face strong discrimination, intimidation and arrest. The government closely monitors the statements and views of independent Shia leaders, media outlet, centers and websites. Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi who openly criticized the government is serving an 11 year prison sentence.

SRW reported employees of several independent Shia TVs  were arrested, their donations and properties are ceased and back accounts are freezed.

A shooting in non-Shia city of Khuzestan resulted in two deaths and two injuries in October.

  • Iraq

Iraq has been has been a haven for terrorist groups in 2015; especially Daesh.  The group has sought out minority groups to rape, pillage, and murder minorities in the country.  Hundreds of Shia have been killed by suicide attacks in the last few months.  In a predominantly Muslim country, most Shia are located in or around Baghdad. In June, the Ministry of Human rights announced that 1,000 bodies had been exhumed from mass graves.  These bodies were from a 2014 attack at Camp Speicher.

SRW reported 3861 Shia killed, and 3474 wounded due to anti-Shia activities.

  • Malaysia

With the current restrictions placed on Shia in Malaysia by the government, religious freedom and anti-Shia discrimination is of high concern. The government has continued to forbid non-Sunni practice and barred Muslims from converting to another religion. For muslims in violation of Sharia code, there are imposed fines, detentions and canings.  The Malaysian government continued to detention Shia Muslims for practicing their religion; In October the State Islamic Department issues arrests to 16 people for participating in Shia religious ceremonies stating that there will be punishment for Muslims that deviate from the “true Islamic faith”.  The federal and state governments continued to forbid religious assembly and worship for groups considered to be deviant sects such as Shia.

  • Pakistan

Pakistan has seen an upward turn in extremist activities.  Hundreds of Shia minorities have been killed and injured in the last year by armed sectarian groups.  The groups are targeting Shia houses of worship, religious leaders, and religious gatherings.  Extremist groups are aiming at minority populations based on religious motives.  As the months go by, Shia leaders are reporting more and more hate speech and threats against their people.  It is estimated that upwards of 40 million Shia muslims live in Pakistan. Although it appears the government is against these acts of terror, the violence does not seem to be slowing.

SRW reported killing of 285 Shia, 275 wounded and 6 faith based arrest.

  • Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has had continuous discrimination against the Shia majority on a variety of levels. ISIS has claimed at least five attacks against Shia targets and Shia clerics and activists who advocate for Shia have been arrested; at least one Shia cleric has been executed due to charges of violent opposition. Authorities have arrested more than 1,000 Eastern province Shia since 2011 and groups in Qatif have recorded at least 206 persons remain in prison with others subject to travel bans. At least 30 Shia have been convicted of capital crimes.

Additionally, most mosques have not received official operating licenses because doing so would require the government to explicitly endorse them. The government also did not finance or assist in the construction of Shia mosques.

On May 29th, a suicide bomber killed four Shia attempting to entire a mosque. On August 6th, an attacker carried out another suicide bombing killing 17 people. October 16th a shooter killed five Shia, and later in the month a bomber murdered two people and wounded 26 Shia.

Shia businessmen were also forced to close their shops for all five prayers despite only observing three of the five prayers that Sunni practice.

The government also continued to distribute textbooks with intolerant, anti-Shia materia. Additional reports from Shia groups reveal discrimination in the courts has lengthy sentences would be given to Shia for engaging in peaceful protests.

Based on SRW report 33 shia were killed, 99 wounded and 34 were arrested by the government.

  • Yemen

During evening prayers on September 2, two suicide bombers attacked the Zaydi Shi’a al-Muayyed mosque in Sana’a’s al-Jeraf neighborhood, killing 32 persons and injuring at least 98. After the arrival of paramedics, a follow-on car bomb detonated outside the building. The next day ISIS affiliate Wilayat Sana’a claimed responsibility for the double bombing. Other attacks on Zaydi mosques occurred on March 20, June 17, June 20, July 29, and September 24.

On July 29, a car bomb exploded at the Al-Fayed Al-Hatami mosque in Sanaa, the principal mosque and administrative center for Ismaili Muslims, killing four and wounding six.

SRW confirmed death of 343 civilian Shia and 547 wounded. but it believes the numbers is  higher but could not be recorded due to high risk environment.

  • Nigeria

Human rights organizations reported that army troops killed hundreds of members of the Shia minority Muslim group Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in Zaria, Kaduna State, in December, and buried them in mass graves.

On November 27 a suicide bombing attack on a Shia religious procession passing through Dakasoye, Kano State, killed at least 21.

SRW reported the arrest of community Shia leader Shekh Zakzaky, and killing of hundreds of Shia whose grave are yet to be recognized due to mass burial by army. The army attacked the community during 48 hours window, killing and wounding. According to community members. Some people are still missing. SRW is seriously concerned for the health of Sheikh Zakzaky as his sone reports he is in need of medical aid but is denied access to it.

  • Syria

Anti Shia groups such as ISIS and al-Nusra Front (ANF) targeted Shia dense areas, destroyed Shia shrines, and other religious heritage sites. ANF and some allied rebel groups targeted Druze and Shia minorities in the northern part of the country, claiming responsibility for numerous bombings, including suicide attacks.

In March ISIS also published a video of militants beheading eight Shia in Hama.

After rebels expelled government authorities from Idlib city in March, they surrounded the nearby majority Shia villages of Fu’a and Kafraya, and targeted both with shelling and suicide bombings. The rebels referred to the villagers in Fu’a and Kafraya as “rawafid,” a derogatory term used to refer to Shia Muslims.

In Aleppo Governorate, several rebel groups, including ANF and Ahrar al-Sham, attacked the Shia towns of Nubl and Zahra, which other rebels had been besieging, and portrayed violence against the villages in sectarian terms

Alawite and Shia youth reported Sunni colleagues continued to threaten them in schools and universities due to their religious affiliations and perceived support for the government.

SRW specified 78 Shia killed, 169 wounded and 10 arrests, but it believes the numbers could be higher.

  • Kuwait

A suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in June, killing 26 people and injuring more than 200 others.The government ordered the Shia community to commemorate Ashura and other holidays indoors. Shia continued to report discrimination against them in terms of the training of clergy and employment in the public sector. Shia leaders said discrimination continued to prevent Shia from obtaining leadership positions in public sector organizations, including the police force and the military/security apparatus. BAsed on SRW report there was killing of 27 Shia and 227 were wounded.

  • Libya

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) reported increased hostility towards Shia Muslims and Shia Islam since 2012 at various levels of Libyan society. No specific number of casualty is confirmed.  

  • Morocco

The government to deny registration to local Shia groups which religious leaders and legal scholars said prevented those groups from legally gathering for religious ceremonies or forming associations under which they could operate legally. As the result there were no known Shia mosques.Representatives of minority religious groups said fears of government surveillance led adherents of the Shia faiths to refrain from public worship and instead to meet discreetly in members’ homes.

  • UAE

According to media accounts, the government revoked residency permits for more than 100 noncitizen Shia Muslims, mostly of Iranian and Syrian nationality, during the year.

  • Lebanon

State Department did not specify any anti-Shia activity however based on SRW report a suicide bombing at the southern part of Beirut injured 37 and killed 50 Shia.  moreover faulty association of all Shia with Hizballah has prevented Lebanese Shia from receiving international support and recognition.

  • Madagascar

No Shia rights violation is reported by State Department however according to SRW research five Shia were arrested without explanation and worship center where threaten to be demolished by non state actors .

  • UK

Based on SRW report, a Shia mosque was vandalized in Bradford infusing fear in British Shia community.

  • Somalia

According to SRW sources Mungaab, the mayor of Mogadishu and the governor of the Bandari region vowed to take action against expansion of Shia ideology. He stated “Somalia is a Sunni nation and does not need Shia ideology” according to Somali Current.


Read Full IRF Report

Read Full SRW Report

Shia Rights Watch Bi-Annual Report

Download Printing Version HERE

This Bi-Annual report is based on analysis of monthly reports conducted by Shia Rights Watch. The report summarizes human rights violations toward Shia people in 10 countries beginning in January and ending in June 2016.

Included in this report is a list of countries who have participated, whether actively or passively, in human rights violations against the Shia minority.  We have focused on the following violations: casualties, passport revocation, deportation, arrests, increased sentencing, fines, and denial of basic civil liberties.  This report gives strong evidence that the Shia are clearly being discriminated against.  Although we are not measuring all acts of human rights violations, this report presents undeniably the atrocities happening daily to Shia communities.

It must be noted that Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria are members of the United Nations. This is important because  these countries have all violated the International Bill of Human Rights. Within this bill, citizens of member states pledge to uphold the following rights for all of their citizens: all humans are born free in dignity and in rights, everyone has the freedom to exercise their opinion, expression, thought, conscience, and religion.  All people have the right to education, participation in government, and the right to assemble.  And finally, all people have the right to leave any country and return, a right to a nationality, and a right to a fair trial if arrested or detained.


Summary of Key Findings:

  • Shia Muslims are targeted and unsafe in many countries throughout the world, this report only highlights the top 10.
  • Shia are oppressed regardless of whether they are the minority or majority in population.
  • Shia are targeted by both terrorist groups and governments alike.
  • Shia Muslims face discrimination in the forms of limited speech, religion, and travel, as well as arrests, injuries and death.  

Shia Rights Watch_BiAnnual_2016

Country Reports

SHia Rights Watch_AzerbaijanAzerbaijan

Although Azerbaijan has a majority Shia population of 85 percent, the country does not tolerate any actions pertaining to freedom of speech or religion. The government sees these acts as a criticism of its institution. Following this, there have been two reported incidents of anti-Shi’ism in Azerbaijan this past year. On the 22nd of May 2016, Azerbaijani authorities destroyed a Shia seminary for the purpose of expanding roads, but the seminary was located in a street alley out of the way. Secondly, the government of Azerbaijan banned the import of 732 religious books and disallowed the publishing of five.  The Republic of Azerbaijan is likely to engage in more violations of human rights as the country controls its own media; therefore staying under the radar.


BangladeshThe country of Bangladesh is a very densely populated country that is home to Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists.  Because of the instability of the government, hate groups have moved in and are targeting minority populations. The growing presence of  the Islamic State in Bangladesh has resulted in one incident of Anti Shi’ism in Dhaka this past year. Alleged ISIS members attacked a Shia preacher in southwestern Bangladesh. His body was found with stab wounds in the head and chest. Police have been skeptical about the assailants’ connections to ISIS, and have also displayed a lack of ability to bring those at large to justice.


Shia Rights Watch_IndiaIndia is a very populated and diverse country with many religious groups.  As a rule, religious freedom is tolerated in this country in most areas.  However, on 1 April, 2016, Indian authorities in the district of Lucknow told Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad that he must hand in his passport within the following ten days. According to police, there are many charges against him, but when he asked whether other people with such charges had their passports taken away, he was not given an answer. This leads many to believe that this was an act of anti-Shiism.  In a statement, Jawad says, “A revenge is being taken against me as I have been raising my voice against anomalies committed by the district administration in the Hussainabad Trust.”  Moreover, the cases in which the police are charging him were resolved back in 2013, as the cleric states, “Regional Passport Office (RPO) in connivance with district administration is trying to harass me. The cases against me mentioned in the letter sent by RPO were withdrawn in 2013 and the then District Magistrate Anurag Yadav’s letter on 23 April, 2013 mentioned that.” Three years later he should not still be punished for crimes previously withdrawn, making this seem more like an excuse to condemn him and his religious beliefs.


Shia Rights Watch_Kuwait

Kuwait has a Shia population of 30 to 40 percent.  In the past, this country has shown tolerance to the Shia minority population.  However, in March of 2016, the Kuwaiti government deported 74 people for alleged extremist ties.  A prominent activist, whose name has not been disclosed for safety reasons, has also had his visa taken away. The presence of the Islamic State in the region is not helping matters.  



Shia Rights Watch_Nigeria

Nigeria’s current instability and conflict have resulted in human rights atrocities by a variety of actors and in numerous forms. While Muslims represent a one third religious minority, the Shia sect represents only 5 percent of the Muslim community and has the fastest growing population in the country.  The estimated 1,000 lives lost in December of 2015 set a precedent for the 2016 acts of Anti-Shi’ism, with a released list of 705 missing or killed persons in January. In the same month, a suicide bomber killed 10 civilians. In March, an armed security force halted a Shia procession led by the Islamic Movement. On May 3rd, the government also administered a death sentence to a Shia Muslim. Gunfire in June also resulted in the death of 18 and left 10 wounded.



Shia Rights Watch_BiAnnual_2016


Shia Rights Watch_Pakistan

Pakistan is a Sunni Muslim majority country in which the Shia make up a large minority population of about 20% of the country. Since January, 18 people have been killed and 36 wounded. None of the assailants have been identified in any of the killings. One of the victims was a religious scholar of Shia school of thought named Allama Imdad Hussan Jafri who was slaughtered in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Unknown armed terrorists illegally entered the scholar’s home and killed him.  On 27 June, a bomb was planted on a bicycle near a mall- 3 people were killed and 32 injured in this incident.

One man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a facebook post deemed religiously offensive. This incident brings the total to 9 people who have been jailed.  Police are still not giving any reason for the imprisonment. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic that recognizes Islam as its official faith.  However, Muslim populations have been under extreme scrutiny, especially the Shia minority. 


Shia Rights Watch_BahrainHuman rights violations are very common in the Shia majority, Sunni led country of Bahrain.  The government has been trying to limit the freedom of speech, gathering, and religion of the Shia population. It is impossible to hold any one person accountable as these incidents are government led. In the first six months of 2016, one Bahraini Shia has been killed during non-violent protesting by police. The government has arrested 231 Bahraini Shia for unjust reasons.  Many Shia have been accused and charged of “terrorist activities” and are jailed under the false pretence of national security. These arrests occurred during Shia led peaceful protests. Jail sentences range from 3 years to life. In addition, 58 people have received increased sentencing on current prison terms. Eight Shia civilians have been forcibly deported based on faulty accusations. It is documented that 30 citizens have had their citizenship revoked and fined including prominent Shia leaders. Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has recently been detained and is still being held. Moreover, on 19 June, the Al- Khalifa regime announced the regulation of “khoms,” or Shia religious tax. The Council of Shia scholars has strongly condemned the government announcement. Bahrain holds the highest amount of human rights violations than other countries. The government is working to change the demographics of the nation and phase the Shia people out by revoking citizenships, deportation, and extensive prison sentences.


Shia Rights Watch_Iraq

Shia in Iraq make up a two thirds majority of the population, showing that the religion has a significant presence in shaping the country’s culture. Iraq has had the largest number of Shia deaths and injuries in the world; thus far 2016 has brought an estimated 1416 deaths and 913 injuries. This trend has been true for the past two years as reported by Shia Rights Watch. The violence typically occurs in the city of Baghdad, which has had a documented 92 incidents this year. Other locations such as Karbala, Muqdadiyah, Madaen, Mahmudiya, and  Kadhimiya have also seen multiple attacks on Shia. Thus far, May has held the highest number of casualties. Typical causes of these deaths are a result from car bombings or improvised explosive devices by non-state actors, resulting from the ongoing war. This is troubling news as Iraq is home to many Shia shrines which in turn draws millions of Shia visitors every year.   The attacks and deaths in June have decreased greatly, as Iraqi security increases during holy times. With June as the month of Ramadan this year, more Shia are protected along with other Muslims. Nevertheless, these acts of hatred and violence should not fluctuate or be allowed to go on regardless of the time of the year.

Shia Rights Watch_BiAnnual_2016

Saudi Arabia

Shia Rights Watch_Saudi ArabiaIt is no secret that Saudi Arabia has a long standing history with human rights violations.  These past months have been no different. On Sunday April 22nd, the Saudi government sentenced Issa al-Hamid, an activist, to 9 years in jail for protesting for his human rights. He is also banned from foreign travel through this period. Al-Hamid is a senior member of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights (HASEM). The court found him guilty of instigating people to violate public order, insulting the judiciary, defaming a number of senior religious figures and establishing an unlicensed organization.  Monday April 23rd, Saudi Arabia approved  the death sentence for Shia activist Yusof al-Mosheykhas, in the city of Awwamiyah in the eastern region of Qatif.  He was arrested in January 2014 after attending anti-government protests and charged with an act of terrorism.  In June, 14 Shia Muslims were sentenced to death by Saudi officials.  Nine others were given sentences of 3 to 15 years.  Later that month, Saudi security forces apprehended top Shia cleric Sheikh Jafar Sweileh on political grounds in Qatif. Activists say that the cleric has been arrested for his writings in defense of freedom of expression. Later that month, a Saudi man has been shot dead during a police raid in the country’s predominantly Shia east.  An interior ministry spokesman said Abdul Rahim al-Faraj was suspected of killing security forces personnel, however, there is no proof of these allegations. Illegal arrests are regular and frequent in this country.


Shia Rights Watch_SyriaViolence toward Shia Muslims has grown more severe alongside the current war in Syria, as civilian Shia are associated politically, despite having no international ties. The Shia population in Syria is approximately 13 percent, with Alawites being the leading majority. This past year, 249 civilians have been killed and 404 wounded in several incidents, primarily from suicide bombings and ongoing airstrikes. The city of Sayyida Zeinab witnessed 71 Shia killed and 100 wounded in January, followed by a suicide bombing in Damascus resulting in 143 dead and 200 injured. In June, Damascus lost 20 lives and saw dozens injured.




Complete Overview

Shia Rights Watch_BiAnnual_2016

The figure above shows the accumulated number of Shia casualties between the months of January to June 2016. Syria and Iraq have the highest number of casualties as a result of insecurity created by the war against ISIS. Shia deaths from January to June totaled 1,737 with 1,383 wounded.  The figure shows a clear lack of safety for the Shia population with regional instability and extremism being the main contributions to Shia civilian deaths.


Shia Rights Watch_BiAnnual_2016


The figure above shows total number of Shia human rights violations between the months of January and June 2016. In the country of Bahrain, Shia are the majority.  Meaning in all other countries listed above, this group is a minority.  Bahrain has the highest amount of human rights violations. This is due to its government attempting to keep the Shia oppressed and phazed out of the country altogether following the 2011 protests that have continued since. The current power struggle has only led to more instability, and is creating a current cycle that calls for greater attention from the International community. Examples of violence are deportation, revocation of citizenship, and arrests. Human rights violations  between January and June totaled 481.  These violations include unlawful citizenship revocation, forced deportation, increased prison sentences, and fines.  The Shia people are also denied freedom of expression, the practice of religion, and denied proper education.


Shia Muslims are the largest minority group in the Middle East. Their population is growing quickly. Despite the Shias proven peaceful demeanor, they are targets of everyday conflict.

Shia Rights Watch believes the Shia people, as anyone are entitled to basic human rights.  These basic rights include but are not limited to: the rights to education, employment, freedom of expression, and freedom of religious practice.

The ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria are big factors in the slaying and oppression of Shia minorities. Terror groups such as ISIS are targeting minority groups, such as Shia, and massacring them. Consequently, once ISIS is involved, it is hard to measure the atrocities enacted among minority groups because government agencies stop intervening. Over 3,000 Shia have been killed and wounded in the first 5 months of 2016.  

Moreover, close to 500 human rights violations have occurred in the first few months of the year.  Most violations were in countries other than Syria and Iraq.  Governments in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain fail to see the significance of minorities and seek to diminish the population altogether.  
It is important to bring light to these violations and raise awareness of all minority oppression; not just Shia.  By doing so, we can bring peace and safety to people’s lives. Moreover, this will stabilize war torn countries and hinder terror groups in the region. 

Shia Rights Watch issues its 2015 Annual Report

SRW annual Casualty Report, depicting cases of anti-Shiism throughout the past year including cases of arrest, injury, murder, and detainment. Based on in depth research of SRW, an average of, twenty-nine to thirty Shia Muslims were killed, arrested, or wounded on a daily basis in 2015.

“2015” reports 5093 Shia Muslims are killed, 5416 wounded, and 431 arrested during between January 1st to December 31st, 2015.  Both state and non-state agents such as ISIS have claimed responsibility for these attacks, making the Shia people largely unsafe in 25 countries around the world; Shia have claimed to feeling insecure in 50% of all Islamic nations.


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International Shia Day

Declaring an International Day was a decision Shia Rights Watch made after realizing the amount of misinformation and lack of awareness that the international community has in regards to Shia communities. The practical significance of the day revolved around raising public and governmental awareness of the human rights violations that occur against Shia Muslims, which go relatively unrecognized by international groups and organizations. Like other International Days, such as International Women’s Day, International Day for Shia Rights allows for an inclusive conversation to occur about the issues affecting that specific group. Moreover, the International Day for Shia Rights allowed for the continued promotion for governmental support in favor of the adoption of H.Res.105 and S.Res.69.

Bahrain; The Lost Generation

  • ISBN-10: 1512057819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1512057812

The Shia Rights Watch report entitled “Bahrain: The Lost Generation” is 48 pages, detailing incidents of violence and intimidation against Bahraini Shia Muslims in 2014. Government sponsored violence has affected the lives of many Shia communities around Bahrain. The report gives a detailed account of how this already oppressed group has been marginalized further in recent years through systematic arrests, torture , and citizenship revocation. The report is based on interviews, site visits, news articles, NGO reports, and other human rights reports.


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Pakistan;Rights Unrecognized

The Shia Rights Watch report entitled “Pakistan: Rights Unrecognized” details widespread militant violence against Shia Muslims in Pakistan. This 24 page long report gives a glimpse into how targeted shootings and mosque bombings have inflicted immense pain on the Shia minority around the country. Pakistani Shia Muslims have been targets of un-investigated violence throughout the history and the oppression continues.

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The Unwelcomed Muslims in Malaysia

The “The Unwelcomed Muslims in Malaysia” is a well-documented report of incidents of Shia rights violation in the country of Malaysia. According to the report, Shia is considered a “deviant” interpretation of Islam and is a banned faith. In the year 2010 and 2011 the government openly attacked two of the Shia ceremonies and arrested many of the participants.

Shia Muslims do not feel secure in the country and practice their faith secretly.

The document narrates the situation of the Shia Muslims in this country and recommends solutions to the problem.

The report is one of a kind in highlighting the Shia rights violations in Malaysia.


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The Shia in Yemen

This Shia Rights Watch report entitled “The Shia in Yemen”, documents incidents of violence and intimidation against Shia Muslims in Yemen. Documenting cases until the end of 2014, the report gives a detailed account of how Shia have been targeted because of their religious beliefs.

Kidnappings, murders, and illegal detentions have occured periodically during the Sada’a Wars between 2004 and 2010 and after the Arab Spring in 2011.


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Saudi Shia Muslim Victims of Secterian Isolation PART 2


Saudi Shia Muslim Victims of Secterian Isolation PART 2

This 23 pages report is part 2 to the original report that was published by SRW in 2012. This part highlights some of the heath and economical violations toward Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia.


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Most Killed Least Covered The case of Syrian Shia

Most Killed Least CoveredThis 36 page report details violations against the Shia Muslim minority in Syria. The report is based on Interviews, site visits, news articles, NGO reports, and other human rights reports.

According to most reports more than 150 thousand people have lost their lives since 2011. Many of those belonged to different sects of Shia Islam. This publication is the first human rights report that specifically highlights Shia rights violations in Syria. The cases mentioned in this report were selected because the victims were targeted not due to the nature of war but because of their faith.

In this report read about Terror against Shia Muslims, Mass killings in Hatla, Haoula and Khan Al-ASAL, siege and displacement and also attacks to Shia clerics and shrines.


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