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Incidents of Anti-Shiism, March 2023

Shia Rights Watch (SRW) released its monthly report detailing the most prominent human rights violations committed against Shia Muslims worldwide for March 2023.

The report highlights several terrorist attacks by extremist groups against Shia Muslims and the oppression and persecution they experience from some governments and regimes based on their religious beliefs.

SRW stresses that the current report contains information based on its reliable sources and the network of local freedoms and human rights activists in the countries subject to these violations.

 SRW has refrained from including certain violations or incidents that might have occurred in its report due to the absence of concrete evidence.

 SRW stresses that its activities are not motivated by political objectives or financial gains but aim to achieve justice and equality.

The countries are listed in alphabetical order:


On March 14th, IS-K (Islamic State – Khurasan Province) detonated a ‘parcel bomb’ targeting a group of journalists who had gathered for a ceremony at a Shiite Tebyan Cultural Centre in Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, left at least three journalists dead and 30 wounded, including children.

On March 20th, A roadside bomb hit a passenger bus killing six people and wounding others, as it traveled through the western province of Ghor.


On March 3rd, the authorities in Bahrain canceled a number of industrial high school students exam results considering them to have failed their year after finding them allegedly guilty of rallying on school campus

On March 5th, security forces arrested four citizens, including two women, citing human rights sources, for demanding the release of their sons detained on sectarian charges in regime prisons.

On March 6th, security forces arrested Ali Hussein Abbas from the Bilad Al-Qadeem area, allegedly due to his civil activity.

On March 6th, Three family members were arrested: the security authorities arrested Mrs. Fadilah Abdul Rasoul, her husband Mr. Al-Sayed Redha, and her brother Mr. Al-Sayed Jafar Al-Sayed Musa allegedly due to their civil activity.

On March 7th, the security forces allegedly arrested Mustafa Al-Sayed Mohammed, a young man from southern Sehla town, due to his civil activities.

On March 8th, security authorities allegedly arrested Sayed Haider, a young man from Buri town, due to his civil activities.

On March 8th, the security authorities arrested Mohammed Mirza, a young man from Karzakan town, allegedly due to his civil activities.

On March 8th, the administration of Bahrain’s Notorious Jau Prison, citing human rights sources, continues depriving the political prisoner Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja of his right to medical treatment despite his deteriorating health condition, ignoring international calls to treat him.

On March 10th, the security authorities arrested Hassan Khalid Khamees from Sanabis town upon returning to holy shrines in Iraq.

On March 11th, security authorities allegedly arrested three social media activists, Ibrahim Al-Manai, Qassim Al-Hajeri, and Ali Hasan, along with human rights activist Ibrahim Khalil, during the Union Conference in Manama due to their human rights activities on social media.

On March 12th, the security authorities arrested the juvenile boy Mahdi Mitham from the village of Al-Murkh as part of their arbitrary crackdown against Shia citizens.

On March 15th, the security authorities arrested the juvenile boy Ahmad Al-Sayed Raed Al-Mousawi from the village of Al-Deraz as part of their oppressive practices against Shia citizens.

On March 14th, the administration of Bahrain’s Notorious Jau Prison, citing human rights sources, continues depriving the political prisoner’s Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al-Muqdad and Sheikh Mirza Al-Mahrous of their right to medical treatment despite their deteriorating health conditions.


On March 1st, ISIS kidnaps and kills herders in Karbala: The terrorist organization ISIS executed two herders by burning them alive after kidnapping five herders in the city of Nukhayb in Karbala province. The fate of three of the abductees is still unknown.

On March 3rd, Deaths and injuries in a bombing in Diyala: A roadside bomb planted by terrorists in the village of Al-Haziniya in Diyala province resulted in the killing of five people and the injury of three others.

On March 7th, One person was killed and two injured in a bombing in Amerli: A roadside bomb planted by terrorists in Amerli resulted in the killing of one person and the severe injury of two others.

On March 8th, One person was killed and another injured in Tuz Khurmatu: An attack by ISIS on the town of Tuz Khurmatu resulted in the death of one person and the injury of another.

On March 10th, ISIS attacked near Muqdadiyah: The terrorist organization attacked light and medium machine guns in the village of Al-Binkani near Muqdadiyah.

On March 29th, One person was killed and three injured in Diyala: An attack by ISIS on a village on the outskirts of Al-Khalis in Diyala province resulted in the killing of one person and the injury of three others.

 Saudi Arabia

On March 1st, Arrest of a human rights activist during her Umrah: Human rights activists revealed that Saudi security authorities arrested the Egyptian Shia activist Rania Al-Asaal during her Umrah due to, allegedly, her continuous criticism of the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

On March 1st, a Lebanese citizen revealed the details of his arrest and torture in Saudi prisons: The Shia Lebanese engineer Ali Ahmad Mazid revealed that Saudi authorities detained him for a year and a half on sectarian grounds, concealing his fate unknown to his family and subjecting him to torture and arbitrary interrogation, before releasing him due to the lack of evidence of any crime or offense being committed by him.

On March 7th, Execution of Shia opinion prisoner Haider Al-Tuhayyifah by Saudi authorities: The security authorities executed the Shia opinion prisoner Haider Al-Tuhayyifah from Al-Qatif allegedly due to his human rights activities. Moreover, The authorities refused to hand over his body to his relatives and banned them from holding funeral services.


On March 4th, extremist groups attacked in Syrian Deir ez-Zor, a convoy of buses taking Iraqi Shia pilgrims on their way to the sacred sites in the neighbouring country, resulting in serious injuries that required some of them to be sent to Al-Bukamal hospital.

Free Salma AlShehab

Salma al-Shehab is imprisoned and sentenced Shi’a Muslim woman and mother of two small children to 34 years in prison over a Twitter post.

Al-Shehab Ph.D. student at Leeds University in the United Kingdom, has been subjected to solitary confinement and abuse based on her religion while in prison.

She has been denied access to a lawyer and family visits.


Antishiism in Albuquerque, New Mexico_ 4 Shia Muslims killed

Albuquerque new mexico shia killing

Shia Rights Watch is following up with the tragic and targeted killing of four Shia Muslims in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have been working with authorities and two Shia mosques in the area to maximize the strength of the community and highlight the issue of Antishiism in the area.

We also appreciate the authorities’ efforts for their prompt response and preventing more bloodshed in the community. On August 9th, our director Mustafa Akhwand spoke in a new press release about not using our emotions in this situation and ensuring we work together to prevent more violence against Shia Muslims.

This crime indicates that certain people who harbor deep animosity toward Shia Muslims will go to extreme and inhuman lengths to exact their despicable views. Still, Shia Muslims are peaceful and would abide by the law of religion and the country to respond with peace and work with authorities to bring the killer to justice.

Let us come together to promote peace, tolerance, and dialogue.


#612ShiaDay_International Shia Day

For Shia Rights, We Stand

International Shia day intends to increase awareness about the struggles, rights, and achievements of Shia Muslims. This population is an underrepresented minority, violated against, and marginalized. Global action is needed to accelerate Shia rights.

Attach on Shia school left 6 dead and 35 wounded.

The terrorist attack on Shia educational center and public high school left more than six Shia students dead and wounded more than 35. The final casualty increases as some of the wounded students are fighting for their lives. Taliban prevents Shia Muslims from protecting themselves and create security measures to stop violence against the Shia community.

Terrorist attack on Mazar-i-sharif left 35 killed and 90 Shia wounded.

#Breaking The terrorist attack on Shia Mosque in Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif left 35 dead and more than 90 Shia Muslims wounded.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the attack on the Shia Mosque has become normal. A couple of days ago, the attack in Dhashte-e-Barchi in western Kabul killed six students and wounded more than 15 Shia Muslims.
Shia rights watch holds the Taliban responsible for these attacks. Shia Muslims should be able to defend their community as before and create their security to protect their place of worship.
#Hazara #Balkh

Saudi Government executed 41 Shia

This weekend, Saudi authorities executed 41 Shia from the eastern province with a false accusation. The court system has convicted innocent Shia Muslims and sentenced them to death via the sword.


Developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan and impact on Shias

You are invited to attend the
“Developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan and impact on Shias”
When: Jul 16, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Incidents of Anti-Shiism, May 2021

Shia Rights Watch continues monitoring international anti-Shia violence. Events noted in this statement are a collection of violence against Shia Muslims reported by grassroots activists and journalists. Shia Rights Watch highlights that this report samples the true scope of anti-Shiism. 

In the month of May, violence from the nations of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria were reported. Shia Muslims are targeted individually and in groups by terror organizations and through lacking due-process enforced by structural anti-Shiism. 



On the tenth of May, the detonation of a bus in Pul Matak of the Parwan Province resulted in the death of 11 and the injury of 25 others. Many of those on the bus were women and children. 

In a separate incident of violence on the same day, a roadside bomb exploded, resulting in the death of dozens. Two were killed.  

Kabul remains a hotbed for violence against Shia Muslims. Early in the month, two gunmen fired machine guns towards two Hazara civilians, killing them instantly. Investigations have found the two assailants to be members of local extremist groups. 

In Kabul, a bomb placed inside a mosque in the Shakar Dara area detonated, killing 12 and wounding 15 worshippers. 

Late in the month, another incident in which passengers were targeted took place. On the 29th, a roadside bomb detonated in Parwan district, as a bus carrying University professors and students passed. The detonation killed four and 13 others were wounded as a result of the incident. 

In Kapisa Province, a missile bombing targeted a wedding party resulting in the death of 10 and the wounding of eight others. 


On the sixth of May, authorities arrested Muhammad Hatem and sentenced him to three months in detention of charges of participating in religious congregation. 

Sources reveal video and audio evidence of torture used on a resident of al-Malikiyah. Activists have long reported violence against Shia Muslim detainees. Those held in Jaws Prison report the use of violence, threats against family members, and false promises. 


In the month of May, a mass grave was discovered in Nasiriyah holding the bodies of more than 700 children, women, and men. Investigations show the causes of death to be  by immolation. 

Violence against Shia Muslims by the hands of ISIS continues across Iraq. National authorities have thwarted numerous attacks throughout the country. Nonetheless, armed offences targeting the security of the nation continue. 

Shia Muslims residing in the nation’s capital face unparalleled violence in the hands of terror groups. On the 13th of May, authorities thwarted a bombing attempt and arrested an assailant with ties to ISIS. The bomb targeted civilian gathering areas during Eid celebrations.  

The frequency of targeting of individuals Shia Muslims by gunshots continues to be of concern in cities such as Baghdad. Shia Muslims identified by their faith are targeted by unidentified gunmen, shot and left for authorities to find. Locals have reported five separate instances of individual assassinations. Local inquiry points to higher death counts that go unreported. 

In Diyala, ISIS assailants launched coordinated attacks in the Governorate. They targeted villages, power transmission infrastructure and security points. Many civilians were injured and killed. A number of others were kidnapped and their whereabouts remain unknown. 

In Tuz Khurmatu, missile bursts caused infrastructural and material damage all across the city.

ISIS attacks have also taken place in Daqaq and Samarra. 


Violence against Shia Muslims in Nigeria continues as authorities open fire on peaceful protestors. On the seventh of May, Nigerian security forces opened fire on protestors calling for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife.

No new developments have been reported in the case of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife. 


Despite promises of protecting Shia Muslims against violence, Shia Rights Watch notes no explicit security or counterterror measures have been announced across Pakistan. Shia Muslims report experience living in fear of being targeted by terrorists which run rampant all over the nation. 

In Quetta City, the explosion of a roadside device injured five civilians. 

In Karachi, terror groups targeted a funeral ceremony. Sources report that assailants opened fire on participants injuring dozens of people. 

Late in the month, peaceful demonstrations in the city of Chaman were the target of a bomb. Assailants placed an explosive device in the location of the demonstration. The device was detonated while participants gathered resulting in the death of six. Many were wounded. 

Saudi Arabia 

Detainee Zuhair Ali al-Mohammed was found deceased while in detention. Sources report the cause of death to be a function of torture followed by neglect. 

Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia make up a minority, largely populating the Eastern Province. Many Shia Muslims report practicing their faith in private in fear of facing discrimination. 

Families of those prosecuted have expressed concern for their loved ones and report lacking un-biased due-process. 


Shia Muslims in Syria face heightened risk of targeting by terror organizations amidst national and political turmoil. 

Toxic substance ends the life of a Shiite preacher in Aleppo countryside: Medical and human rights reports revealed the assassination of religious preacher Ahmed al-Jumaili with a toxic substance in the city of Maskana. 

Perpetrators of the act of violence have yet to be identified. 


Hazara Face Continued Violence: Is There an End?

Shia Rights Watch expresses its deepest concern for the lives of the Hazara population in Afghanistan following the recent bombings in Kabul. For far too long have the Hazara people lived with targets on their back while the world turns a blind eye to the violence that plague their lives. 

On Saturday, May 8, a bomb detonated outside Kabul’s Syed Al-Shahda school for girls in Dasht-e-Barchi, killing 80 and injuring 147 others. The school was filled with students of the 11th and 12th grade. 

The majority of those killed were students between the ages of 13-18. 

Dasht-e-Barchi is largely populated by Shia Muslim. 

Violence against Hazara Shia Muslims

The targeted nature of the bomb points to motivations based in extremism against Shia Muslims. The Hazara people are a population long identified as members of the Shia Muslim identity. 

Hazara have faced very harsh and inhumane treatment throughout history.  Once the largest ethnic group in the country, only make up 9 percent of the Afghan population today.

An estimated 60% of their population was exterminated during the 1890’s genocide of Hazaras in Afghanistan. During and after the genocide, Hazaras lands were confiscated and distributed , and tens of thousands of Hazaras men, women, and children were sold as slave. It is also reported that tens of thousands of Hazara captives were sold.   

Labeled as ‘heretics.’ extremist groups including but not limited to the Taliban and ISIS, continue to dehumanize the Hazara and justify their brutal killings.  

Local and National Responses

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani tweeted his condemnation after the attack, by casting responsibility on the Taliban. He noted the group’s unwillingness to support peace agreements. 

No acknowledgement of the Hazara populations endangerment and failure to protect the population have been made by any of the country’s officials. 

The Constitution of Afghanistan has several clauses which provide protection to minorities, including the Shia Hazara. The citizens of Afghanistan, man and woman, have equal rights and duties before the law. The Afghan government is responsible for protection and safety for all of the nations populace regardless of race or creed. 

None-the-less, Shia populated areas of the country face the highest rates of violence and are supported with disproportionately less resources aimed at violence prevention. 

President Ashraf Ghani along with all other national and local officials in Afghanistan are responsible for every life lost as a result of extremism in the country.

Call for Change

While the Taliban has denied involvement on Twitter through the group’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, sources report an increase in violence across the country following the announcement of withdrawal of NATO and U.S. forces on May 1. Taliban perpetrators have attacked cities and towns they identified as most vulnerable.  

And given the vulnerability of Shia populated areas of the country, Shia Rights Watch expresses concern for the future of the Hazara population. 

Shia Rights Watch calls on the international community to hold the Afghan government responsible for failing to protect members of the Hazara community. 

It’s time for Afghan officials to do more than tweet condemnation to violence against the Shia minority.

It’s time for real change that protects innocent children against violence. 

UN Complaint