Oppression and discrimination of Bahraini government that led to protest and unrest in this country is taking even more serious face by sentencing of peaceful protestors. Bahrain is one of few countries in which Shia Muslims are majority yet they are suppressed under a Sunni-led kingdom. Shia Muslims have always complained for the unfair treatments they have faced in this country. The oppression became so unbearable that it resulted in mass protest in 2011. Since then, the government openly attacks them by raiding their homes and Islamic centers, killing and imprisoning activist and even arresting minors and women.
Recently 50 more activists were sentences to jail for their “anti- government” activities.
SRW believes it is unfortunate that peaceful protest have become a “legal” reason for the government to violate citizens’ right to freedom and expression. “Anti- government” and “Terrorist Activities” are labels Arab kings use to cover their human rights violations and blame the victims. SRW believes the peaceful protests should not be considered “anti-government” movements but should be viewed as an active demand for freedom and equality that all deserve. Bahrain government can easily and quickly bring peace back to the country by recognizing Shia Muslims and give them freedom to practice their faith and participate in all aspects of the government equally.