On Friday December 11th Punjab police arrested three members of Laskar-e-Jhangvi in connection with the shooting death of a Shia army officer in Lahore. Captain Ahmed Raza was shot and killed six months ago by what was believed to be his guard their accomplices. A man by the name of Nasrullah of the Okara district of Punjab province is suspected to have killed Raza before fleeing to Afghanistan.
Both Nasrullah and his accomplices are known to have connections with LeJ, including with Malik Ishaq the chief of the terrorist group. The suspects will be charged under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Positive action against terrorism in the country is welcomed but does not occur often enough. This case remains one of the few cases where those who have killed Shia Muslims have been arrested.
On Sunday December 6th the Bahraini authorities exercised its unchecked power yet again as the Public Prosecutor renewed the detention of Sheikh Hassan Isa for another 30 days. The former Member of Parliament was arrested on August 28th at Bahraini international airport following his return to the country and was later charged with funding terrorism. Sheikh Hasan’s arrest and charges are a part of the Bahraini government’s efforts to intimidate the Shia community. Shia Rights Watch condemns his detainment and calls for his immediate release.
While dissidents in Bahrain are facing harsh treatment by the justice system despite exercising their rights, members of the Bahraini security forces are restricting the freedoms of Shia Muslims with impunity. On December 7th five policemen were acquitted by Bahrain’s First High Criminal Court of torture charges stemming from the 2011 uprising. This heavily flawed judicial process has hindered the progress of freedom in the country. Shia Rights Watch calls for the release of political prisoners and an overall reform of the country’s judicial system.