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Shia Rights Watch issues its 2015 Annual Report

Infographic_Shia Rights Watch_2015Report

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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Shia News Wire #57

February 27th to March 4th/ 2016


On Sunday February 28, 2016, a twin suicide bombing of which ISIS claimed responsibility, killed at least 70 people in a Shia majority district of Baghdad. According to police, the bombers were riding motorcycles through a crowded mobile phone market called Mredi Market in Sadr City when they blew themselves up killing 70, and wounding approximately 112 others. Of these 112 people, 28 are reported to being critically wounded. 5 people were declared to be missing following these attacks. The injured are still being held at the hospital in order to recover.

In another attack on Sunday February 28, suicide bomb blasts killed 31 Shia Muslims. Suicide bombers and armed men in cars attacked Abu Ghraib targeting a cemetery this led to the deaths of 17 people.

On Monday February, 29th, approximately 38 people were reported to being killed and 58 people were injured after a bomb blast to a funeral in Muqdadiya, Diyala province. The funeral was of a Shia militia fighter. The death toll has been rising due to many perilous injuries.

Tuesday March 1st, two different attacks by ISIS in Baghdad left at least 13 people dead and 31 murdered. One included an attack a militant broke into a soldier’s home murdering his wife and two young daughters (ages 5 and 7).

Wednesday March 2nd, members of ISIS beheaded a Shia Muslim near Baghdad accusing him of being an Iranian spy. Images of the decapitation were photographed by ISIS as forms of propaganda.


A Sunni Islam organization in the UK called Doam (Documenting Oppression Against Muslims), although initially founded to combat anti-Islam prejudice, has recently been spreading messages of intra-Muslim bigotry, through a series of anti-Shia messages that are deemed as unacceptable. The group’s Facebook and twitter posts include derogatory anti-Shia Statements such as Shia being “rejecters of the Muslim faith”. Their official twitter account also insulted Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, calling him an abuser. The Shia Rights Watch urges authorities to remember that any organization that promotes hatred or violence of any kind is a hate group and should be regarded as such.


Bahrain unjustly arrested 5 people Monday February 29th, for up to 15 years for “committing terrorist activities” toward the state.  The prisoners were collectively fined more than 17,000 Dinars. The same court arrested two other people in a different case, one for ten years and one for three, based on accusations of rioting and throwing rocks and explosives at police officers last April. These people arrested were also accused of terrorism.


Incidents of Anti-Shiism in February 2016


This report will analyze the data compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between February 1st and February 29th, 2016. This month there were 372 deaths within the Shia community. Compared with last month’s analysis, the death rate has greatly increased, which is a negative sign for the future wellbeing of this minority group. In fact, the death toll more than doubled from last month. There were several events which resulted in large death rates. One such event were suicide bombing in several suburbs of Damascus, Syria on February 21st, which killed 140 people. Another was a suicide bombing in Baghdad Iraq on February 28, 2016 which resulted in 78 deaths, 112 injuries, and 5 missing persons. The data for this report was gathered from a variety of different sources. The most well-known incidents of anti-Shiism were retrieved from stories that are reported to Shia Rights Watch by eyewitnesses. Each incident is thoroughly evaluated for both authenticity and relevance. For an incident to be included in this report it has to show clear intent to target Shia Muslims on the basis of religious beliefs. The subsequent sections will present and analyze the data gathered by Shia Rights Watch for February.

Where have Shia Muslims been targeted? 

Shia Rights Watch_February

In February, Shia Muslims were targeted in six countries; Malaysia, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, There were a total of 315 deaths, 390 injured, and 55 arrested, as a result of anti-Shia hate crimes.  Although Shia human rights were violated in other countries across the world as well, this report lists those countries in which numerical proof of murders, injuries, and arrests are present.


This month Malaysia fell victim to four unlawful arrests.  Although Malaysia did not make it into January’s monthly report, it has been a source of many Shia rights violations in past months.  Four Malaysian Shia were charged under sections nine and twelve of Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment of 1997 for practicing their religion.


This month twenty-one people were arrested in Bahrain.  The arrestees were accused of blocking the road during protests, and/or of terrorist activities. The five people arrested February 29th were also charged a sum total of 17,000 dinars on top of their fifteen year jail sentences. There are no proof of terrorist activities occurring.


With a grand total of 227 deaths and 190 injuries, Iraq by far has the greatest amount of human rights violations against the Shia minority in the month of February. The amount of casualties in Iraq has increased exponentially since January with death rates being multiplied by four.  The attacks consisted of a combination of gunfire, suicide bombings, and other improvised explosive devices.

The February bombings occurred in various places including mosques, funeral services, markets, and grain silos.  Baghdad has been the main city where anti-Shia attacks have occurred this past month.

Shia Rights Watch_February_1


This month Malik Iftikhar Ali Haideri, was killed in Pakistan. He was murdered via gun by two unknown men on motorcycles.


This month a total of 143 Syrian Shia were killed and 200 were injured. This makes it the second highest for number of Shia rights violations this month after Iraq. The number of casualties has increased since January with the number of people injured and killed doubling. The most deaths occurred on February 21st, 2016  which two incidents happening,  a series of four bomb blasts which struck a suburb of Damascus called Sayyida Zeinab killing 83 people, and a bomb explosion in another suburb called Homs in which 57 people were killed.  These bombings also resulted in many injuries making February 21st the worst day this month for Syrian Shia Muslims.

Saudi Arabia

This month there was 1 Saudi Shia death and 30 unlawful arrests. The Saudi government was responsible for both of these cases. The arrests were due to  unfounded accusations that thirty-two Saudis were spying for Iran (this number consists of thirty Shia).  These individuals were detained back in 2013 but were just put on trial this year. It should be noted that trial was kept private and lacked due process of law; both of these suggest huge government corruption as both of these practices in court are illegal.  SRW urges international powerhouses such as the UN to make sure that each and every nation uses fair and legal practices in all criminal court cases.

Shia Rights Watch_February_2


This month anti-Shia casualties have increased exponentially from last month, which means that despite the relatively good start to 2016, the Shia population across the world is still not doing well. Iraq was responsible for the most human rights violations against Shia Muslims, with Syria trailing closely behind. Malaysia, Bahrain, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia are also mentioned in this report, but there is not nearly as much written about these places.  This could mean that these places had less violations, but it could also mean that their other violations have not been released yet.  The majority of deaths were caused by IED explosions, suicide bombings, and gunfire. Suicide bombings occurred in markets, mosques, funeral services, and more. There were also a large number of people arrested on grounds of “terrorism.” However, there is no proof of any sort of terrorist activities.

Although many of the perpetrators are unknown, ISIS has claimed responsibility for a great deal and the Saudi government was responsible for many within their own kingdom. Increased measures need to be implemented in order to combat ISIS, and the UN needs to be more responsible in making sure that the Saudi government cannot continue making obvious human rights violations.

Shia Rights Watch issues its 2015 Annual Report

Washington, D.C. – Shia Rights Watch is releasing its 2015 Annual Report at the Human Rights Council 31st Session, Geneva.

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.

Journalists, researchers, and human rights advocates interested in obtaining a copy before the release of the report may contact the organization directly.

Via:  srwdc [at] shiarightswatch.org

Learn about anti-Shiism in specific countries and number of causality in “2015”.

SRW, founded in Washington DC, in 2011, is a non-profit, non-governmental entity which defends Shia Muslim rights around the world.

Shia News Wire #56

February 20th to 26th, 2016

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia put 32 people including 30 Shia on trial. Their charges included supporting protests in the Shia-majority region of Qatif in Eastern Province and recruiting others for espionage. They were also accused of sending encrypted reports to foreign intelligence via email and committing high treason against the king. Besides acts of spying and treason, they were also accused of owning banned books and publications that are mostly Shia prayer books.

The 30 people were detained in 2013, and many were important members of society and most were not politicians. Of those arrested this included an elderly university professor, a pediatrician, a banker and two clerics. Most were from al-Ahsa that is home to around half the members of the kingdom’s minority sect. The 32 people were put on trial on Sunday February 20th at the Specialized Criminal Court. The Eastern Province, which is home to many Shia, has been the site of many peaceful protests because the Shia are denied basic rights such as religion, expression, etc. The charges of spying are unfounded and are simply a way for the government to target Shia Muslims.

On Tuesday, February 23rd, Saudi officials opened fire on al-Awamiyah in the Eastern province, massacring individuals living in the same city as the executed sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. A young teen age Shia Muslim, Ali Mahmood, was shot and killed. Death counts have not been released yet and according to official sources the locals did not react or fight back.


There has been an investigative panel for two days starting Monday to try and determine Zakazy’s whereabouts. The Shia have refused to take part in this investigation unless he is released unconditionally and all 730 missing Shia Muslims are accounted for.


Between 9-12 people were killed Thursday February 25, 2016 during a double suicide-bomber attack at a predominately Shia mosque. The suicide bombers set off bombs in the front of the Rasul al-Azam mosque in the Shuala district” of Baghdad and the blasts wounded at least 20 people. The first explosion was meant to target worshippers as they left the service and the second explosion was to target police officers that came in aid of the first people injured.


Four explosions went off in the predominantly Shia suburbs of Damascus on Sunday February 21, 2016. The attacks happened by hospitals used to treat Shia Muslims. Currently 50 killed and 200 wounded from this attack.

Women Empowerment, a Major Step in Peace, Reconciliation, and Capacity Building

United Nation Headquarters< Geneva

March 10th 2016

From 3:00 pm to 4:00 PM



This event focuses on topics that enable attendees to come together for effective change, learn more about challenges women face in troubled regions, roadmap ahead, and importance of Women’s Rights Advocacy.  



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

Shia News Wire #55

February, 13 – 19, 2016

Saudi Arabia

Due to rising tensions stemming from the execution of cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi authorities have shut down the Rasoul al-Azam mosque in al-Ahsaa- A Shia mosque. The mosque was shut down to prevent Sheikh Hussein Radhi from holding prayers after he publicly criticized the Saudi government and to limit Shia Muslim gatherings.


Two people have been proclaimed dead and seventeen have been declared injured following a car bomb released at a police check-point at Derbent in the southern Russian Republic of Dagestan. Dagestan is the only known area with notable Shia population in Russia. The bombing killed two police officers and the seventeen injured includes police personnel as well as civilians. The blast was reported to be so strong that it completely incinerated four cars in the parking lot by the police check-point. This police check-point was the sight of an armed assault in which unknown individuals opened fire, wounding one police officer. Despite ISIS claiming responsibility for both of these attacks via twitter, blame is being placed on a local terrorist group called ‘Yuzhdag’ (short for Southern Dagestan).

As attack to Shia communities is on raise, SRW is concerned for the safety of Russian Shia. Dagestan is home for many Shia Muslims and we urge Russian government to take necessary actions to prevent future attacks.

Shia News Wire #54

February 6th to 12th, 2016


In Punjab, terrorists have recently threatened to poison the water tanks of the schools in the area, leading to the school administration and Punjab government to place the school water supply under strict surveillance. Efforts to thwart terrorist plans to poison the water include a rotating night watch as well as constant 24/7 guarding of the water supply. The Punjab area of Pakistan is home to a good percentage of Shia Muslims, which explains why anti-Shia terrorist groups are targeting that specific area.

On February 8th, Pakistan had also seen the death of an important Shia individual, Malik Iftikhar Ali Haideri. As the superintendent of the Government College of Technology, he takes public transportation each morning and was waiting at a pick-up location when the attack occurred. He was shot by several unidentified men riding motorcycles near the Kohati Gate resulting in fatal injuries. His family seems to have a huge target on their back as his brother, Jarrar Ali Haideri, who is an employee of the Directorate of Afghan Refugees, was killed in a similar way ten days previously while bringing his children to school. Another incident also occurred on February 8th in which an explosive bomb was set in a repair shop in the Zandi Akbar Khan area of Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of the two Shia store owners.


This week, Syria was the sight of three Shia Muslim deaths including two women and one six year old child. These deaths were the direct result of bombings to two Shia populated cities; Nubl and Al-Zahraa which had previously been under siege for the past three years by ISIS resulting in malnutrition, lack of education, medical aid, and many other resources. Although ISIS has recently stopped occupation of these cities, a huge anti-Shia stronghold remains, making these places extremely dangerous for their large Shia populations.



Shia News Wire #53

January 30th – February 5th, 2016


Four Malaysian Shia Muslims were summoned to Syariah Court and charged with Sections nine and twelve of Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1997, because of their Shia practices.

Thirteen Malaysians who have declared themselves followers of the Shia faith in 2013. In a Statutory Declaration, they have all stated that they are free from any terrorist activities, do not condone violence, and also declared loyalty to The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (head of state) or king of Malaysia.

On May 15th,2014, all thirteen of the Shia Malaysians were called upon to the office of Islamic Affair Johor (JAIJ) for investigation. It is notable that investigation sessions were closed to the public.

The thirteen individuals charged were bailed out on a fee of RM 2,000per person and their next hearing will be on April 14th, 2016.

Ongoing investigation on Malaysian Shia, ban to their publications, and increasing restrictions are some human rights violations that the Shia Rights Watch have been reporting. Malaysia must recognize its Shia population as lawful citizens and stop pressuring this minority based on their faith.



Human rights abuses and violations are  an ongoing phenomenon in  Bahrain.

A court in Bahrain has sentenced eight Shia Muslims to three years in prison. According to activists, the court accused and charged Shia Muslims because they  blocked aroad during a protest. Hundreds of peaceful protestors were charged and are currently jailed in Bahrain under the false pretence of national security.

Moreover, the Bahraini security forces recently arrested six children from the Sar region:

This includes two sixteen year olds named Sayyid Ali Abbas Mohammed and Jassem Mohammed Hassan, two fifteen year olds named Hassan Mohammed Hassan and Fadhel Mohammed Hassan, one fourteen year old named Sayyid Fadhel Saeed Shams, and finally one thirteen year old named Sayyid Mohammed Hashem. The prosecutor general ordered for the children to be detained while they were investigated for political crimes, which in most cases, means  participation in peaceful protests.

Incidents of Anti-Shiism in January 2016


This report will analyze the data compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between January 1st and January 31st. This month there were 140 known deaths within the Shia community. Most significant bombing  left seventy-one known deaths. However, news released from the Zaria massacre showed 705 people have been declared missing. The data for this report was gathered from a variety of different sources. The most well-known incidents of anti-Shiism were retrieved from stories that are reported to Shia Rights Watch by eyewitnesses. Each incident is thoroughly evaluated for both authenticity and relevance. For an incident to be included in this report it has to show clear intent to target Shia Muslims on the basis of religious beliefs. The subsequent sections will present and analyze the data gathered by Shia Rights Watch for January.

Where have Shia Muslims been targeted? 

Shia Rights Watch Chart 1


In January, Shia Muslims were victims in seven countries: Iraq, Bahrain, Nigeria, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. There were a total of 140 deaths this month, 123 wounded, 171 arrested, and an estimate of 705 people declared missing. The biggest news this month was the release of the 705 names of people declared missing after the Nigeria massacre last month.


This month saw a huge decrease in Shia deaths in Iraq, with only 55 people being killed, compared with last month which had 221 deaths.  Unlike in past months. The city in Iraq with the most killings was Muqdadiyah with twenty deaths, followed by New Baghdad, Baghdad/ Taji, and finally, South-east Baghdad. Most of the attacks in Iraq were resulted from bombs include suicide bombers, car bombs, and other bombs. The New Baghdad attack also had instances of gunfire attacks. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack on South-east Baghdad, but no one has claimed responsibility for the other attacks in Iraq as of now.


This month saw a huge increase on the amount of Shia Muslims arrested in Bahrain, with a total of 163. All of these arrests were sanctioned by the state with the unfair arrests being done by the Bahraini government, the Bahraini Security Forces, and the Bahraini Judicial system. The arrests done by the Bahraini Judicial system was a fifteen year extension for people already arrested following peaceful protests against the current regime. This extension was done on the grounds that prisoners were “disobeying orders” and “destroying furniture” at Jaw Prison. Protests against the currently regime have been common since 2011, making arrests a common occurrence in Bahrain. Also, according to the freedom house report, Bahrain is considered Not Free as they recently stripped many Shia Bahraini peoples of their citizenship.

Shia Rights Watch Chart 3


Nigeria also witnessed a huge decrease in deaths this month, with only approximately ten occurring in January. The deaths this month resulted from a suicide bombing attack on a Mosque in Cameroon by Nigerian militant group, Boko Haram. Following the Nigerian massacre that occurred last month, a list of 705 names was just released of all the people declared missing following that massacre. However, all that is known is their names, not which of these missing persons are still alive, nor where they are being held.


This month no Shia deaths occurred in Pakistan, which is great news, but there were eight people arrested by the Pakistani government. Innocent Shia youngsters and trustees of mosques/Imambargahs have been arrested by police in a raid from Mehmoodabad area of Karachi, Pakistan. All of these arrests occurred without any crimes or charges being made, making it a case of police terrorism, as locals have started calling it. Families of the arrested declared the government is demanding 2 Lac for the release of the prisoners, which is equivalent to 100,000 rupees.


Azerbaijan had a total of one injury in January. Shia Muslim theologian and prisoner of conscience Taleh Bagirov was subjected to “severe torture” including a broken nose while being held in detention at the Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for the Struggle with Organized Crime since December 2015. Since being in jail, Bagirov has complained about severe torture in prison, not being allowed contact with his lawyer, and not being allowed contact with his family.

Saudi Arabia

January saw a total of four deaths and eighteen people wounded in Saudi Arabia. This was an increase from last month in which neither deaths nor injuries occurred. The attack was due to a suicide bomber that targeted the Imam Rida mosque, a Shia Muslim mosque located in the eastern province town of Mahasen. No official claims of responsibility have been made, but this attack mirrors past ones by ISIS, making the Islamic State a strong contender. Security forces prevented the bomber from being allowed inside the mosque, but he blew himself up right outside of it, killing four people with him.

Shia Rights Watch Chart 2


This month a total of seventy-one people were killed, and about 100 were injured following bombings claimed by ISIS near a revered Shia shrine, Sayyida Zeinab, outside the Syrian capital, Damascus. Last month Syria was not listed as a place which targeted Shia Muslims, which is a bad sign for the month of January. According to witness statements, there were either two or three bomb explosions; the first a suicide car bomber, and the following one(s) suicide bombers which released bombs into a huge crowd. These attacks also concluded in an estimate of 100 injuries.


As a whole, the number of Shia Muslims being targeted in January 2016 has exponentially decreased, which is a good sign for Shia Muslims across the globe. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure this group is completely safe as they have still been dealing with murders, unlawful arrests, injuries, and other instances of anti-Shia behavior by both their governments as well as militant/ terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram. It is upsetting to note that many of the bombs this month were set off during peaceful protests and mosque services. The Shia Rights Watch hopes that attacks against the Shia population will continue in this downward trend. The organization also wishes for the safe release of the 705 people declared missing following the Nigerian massacre.

UN Complaint