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Ambassador of Bahrain

Shia Rights Watch writes letter to the Ambassador of Bahrain to request increased protection for Shia Muslims in Bahrain after ISIS threats.

Washington, D.C.- July 2, 2015- Shia Rights Watch sent a letter to the Ambassador of Bahrain to request greater protection for Shia Muslims in Bahrain leading up to July 3rd. This letter comes less than a week after the deadly suicide bombing at the Imam Sadiq mosque in Kuwait which killed over 200 worshippers and wounded more than 200 others. In the aftermath of the bombing, ISIS members took to twitter and said that an attack in Bahrain was next.

While many of ISIS’s previous threats against the island kingdom were unsubstantiated, Shia Rights Watch believes that in light of recent events, proper precautions should be taken to protect worshippers. Friday has become a deadly day for Shia Muslims as bombings have torn through multiple mosques this year.

It is imperative that these mosques and their worshippers are protected, as their defense is critical for the perseverance of religious freedom throughout the Gulf.

To see the full letter click here.

 

 

27 Killed and over 200 injured in Kuwait Bombing

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On Friday June 26th terror struck the Shia community in Kuwait. During midday prayers a suicide bomber detonated themselves at the Imam Sadiq mosque killing at least 27 people and injuring 200 others. This horrific attack occurred as at least 2,000 people were gathered in this mosque. This attack is a part of a chain of terrorist attacks that occurred around the world in other countries such as France, Tunisia, and Syria.

Shia Rights Watch strongly condemns the actions of these terrorists around the world. In addition, Shia Rights Watch calls on countries around the world to ensure that Shia mosques receive adequate protection to avoid casualties such as what the world has witnessed today. This mosque bombing comes just weeks after two consecutive mosque bombings in Saudi Arabia.

Unfortunately Friday has become the most dangerous day of the week to be Shia as terrorist groups have used Friday prayers as an opportunity to take as many Shia lives as possible. These actions have been backed by rhetoric that declares Shia Muslims to be heretics and worthy of death. Shia Rights Watch condemns hate speech and speech that incites violence as a large contributor to violence against Shia Muslims. It is the job of the international community, especially countries with notorious anti-Shia records, to condemn this type of speech.

This bloody Friday cannot go unaddressed by the Kuwaiti government. Shia Rights Watch calls on the government of Kuwait to investigate this bombing and bring to justice all who are responsible.

Shia News Wire #23

27 Killed and 200 injured in Kuwait Bombing

On Friday June 26th terror struck the Shia community in Kuwait. During midday prayers a suicide bomber detonated themselves at the Imam Sadiq mosque killing at least 27 people and injuring 200 others. This horrific attack occurred as at least 2,000 people were gathered in this mosque. This attack is a part of a chain of terrorist attacks that occurred around the world in other countries such as France, Tunisia, and Syria.

Shia Rights Watch strongly condemns the actions of these terrorists around the world. In addition, Shia Rights Watch calls on countries around the world to ensure that Shia mosques receive adequate protection to avoid casualties such as what the world has witnessed today. This mosque bombing comes just weeks after two consecutive mosque bombings in Saudi Arabia.

Unfortunately Friday has become the most dangerous day of the week to be Shia as terrorist groups have used Friday prayers as an opportunity to take as many Shia lives as possible. These actions have been backed by rhetoric that declares Shia Muslims to be heretics and worthy of death. Shia Rights Watch condemns hate speech and speech that incites violence as a large contributor to violence against Shia Muslims. It is the job of the international community, especially countries with notorious anti-Shia records, to condemn this type of speech.

This bloody Friday cannot go unaddressed by the Kuwaiti government. Shia Rights Watch calls on the government of Kuwait to investigate this bombing and bring to justice all who are responsible.

 

Shia Rights Watch releases statement commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Washington, DC- 25 June 2015- Shia Rights Watch joins the United Nations and the remainder of the international community in commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This day, established on December 12, 1997, commemorates victims of torture and works towards “the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”.

Shia Muslims are routinely subjected to torture and degrading treatment around the world. Shia prisoners of conscience have been subjected to torture in countries such as Bahrain. The International Shia Day campaign highlighted many victims of torture among the 550 minors that are currently detained in Bahraini prisons. Fourteen year old Mohammed Mansour, one of the 550, was arrested and subjected to harsh physical beatings and electric shock torture.

The story of young Mohammed Mansour is not unique, but is shared among many Shia Muslims around the world. Torture and other forms of degrading treatment undermine the basic foundations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is for this reason we call on all countries around the world to respect basic human rights and renounce torture.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Washington, DC- 25 June 2015- Shia Rights Watch joins the United Nations and the remainder of the international community in commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This day, established on December 12, 1997, commemorates victims of torture and works towards “the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”.

Shia Muslims are routinely subjected to torture and degrading treatment around the world. Shia prisoners of conscience have been subjected to torture in countries such as Bahrain. The International Shia Day campaign highlighted many victims of torture among the 550 minors that are currently detained in Bahraini prisons. Fourteen year old Mohammed Mansour, one of the 550, was arrested and subjected to harsh physical beatings and electric shock torture.

The story of young Mohammed Mansour is not unique, but is shared among many Shia Muslims around the world. Torture and other forms of degrading treatment undermine the basic foundations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is for this reason we call on all countries around the world to respect basic human rights and renounce torture.

 

Ramadan Kareem

Shia Rights Watch would like to extend its best wishes to the Muslim community around the world as the month of Ramadan approaches. This holy month in which Muslims reflect upon the time in which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This time of fasting, prayer, and reflection serve as a moment for Muslim families and communities to gather together to draw closer to God.

The principles of justice and charity are central to the commemorations of this month and they are central in the reflections of Muslim communities. These principles are also central to the mission of Shia Rights Watch. As a human rights organization, we work to ensure that these values are adhered to by all societies.

Unfortunately these principles have not been upheld in many places as Shia Muslims are routinely persecuted and murdered in some countries. Hundreds of deaths and scores of arrests of Shia Muslims have occurred so far this year and it shows no sign of stopping. Two Shia Mosques have been bombed in Saudi Arabia, and hundreds of Shia minors remain detained in Bahrain. The continued injustices that occur against this religious minority cast a stain upon the entire international community.

Although these injustices persist, this Ramadan Shia Rights Watch is going to renew its commitment to working for the protection of the rights of Shia Muslims. We will do this by assuming our duties with an intensified passion in all of the work that we do. Although many of the past Ramadans have been bloody, we will work tirelessly to ensure that we both record these violent events and ensure that those who commit these atrocities are brought to justice.

This holy month should serve as a time of unity for people everywhere as we journey towards a more peaceful and equitable society. Shia Rights Watch invites Muslim states to join us in this cause by ensuring that all within their borders respect the basic human rights of their fellow citizens, including Shia Muslims.

Children in Bahrain: From Playground to Prison

Shia Rights Watch paper in #HRC29 Side Event; “Children in Bahrain From Playground to Prison”

06/19/2015

Childhood moments are meant to produce memories of carefree enjoyment. At the same time childhood experience cultivates the foundations of our education of society, and builds our understanding of the socio-structures of how to build upon our hopes to become adults who can participate in a meaningful and productive way in our communities, and to forge our own futures with the energetic exuberance that comes with youth, towards the ‘tomorrow‘ of the next generation.

It is not hard to understand that unlike other country’s future generations, Bahrain’s children have suffered from a wide and hideous range of psychological and physical health setbacks due to the continuous violence perpetrated against them.

Sadly neither the government of Bahrain nor the international community fully realize that without the future generation there will be no possibility for the great country that they enthusiastically hope for.

The consequence of the relentless and sustained oppression targeted at children has caused many to lose their lives and many others to live with debilitating medical problems directly associated with the inhumane treatment committed against them.

Considering the size of the population there are per capita so many who have faced discrimination, arrest, torture and the traumatic loss of a fellow classmate, or family member. This has left emotional scars and translates to diminished behavioral functionality.

These afore mentioned issues are evident in problematic relationships between them and their siblings and parents, and aggressive behavior at school is also a known factor, given the history of other countries experiences, for their future ability to have healthy interpersonal relationships either with their peers or furthermore into their marriages and relationships with their own children.

This ‘legacy of hurt’, violence and psychological torment is being perpetuated by the Bahraini Regime and their tactical abuse of children in an effort to decimate the culture and socially fragment the Opposition Community.

We have to clearly realize that the amount of violence that children face in that society brings them only anger sadness and anxiety. They worry about their family, they are disillusioned and saddened by the lack of access to a credible education, and they experience anger towards the society that is meant to support and nurture their growth. Now they are left be wildered, and bereft at being imprisoned for seeking respect, dignity and equality for their peers and their family members.

It is of great concern that children are themselves worried about the threat to their ability to have an identity, through the refusal of the regime to issue birth certificates or passports, just as they are unable to attend college and satisfy their right to equal access to education, and to help promote a better society for their fellow citizens.

Not being able to travel and discover the world will, without doubt, lead them to less tolerance and a lack of understanding toward other cultures.

Children who always dreamed of growing up to be a doctor such as Professor McCormack The pediatric doctor who went beyond his field of his expertise to defend the doctors in Bahrain,  an engineer such as Mustafa Akhwand, Founder of Shia Rights Watch who left his work as Computer programmer to defend Shia Rights, an activist like  Tara Raynor O’Grady, Irish activist who didn’t let her cancer destroy her confident and realize that there are many ways to support the people of Bahrain even during  her Chemo trophy, the moments that many people only think about their own health and feeling of their families  or such as many activist who sacrificed their time and effort for Bahrain, now have a dream instead to attend a meal with their family without being worried about potential    suffocation    of one their family members due to indiscriminate blanketing of Tear Gas in their village by regime forces, or their privacy violated and their peace interrupted by someone being dragged out into the street, beaten and removed to a detention centre and God knows what by foreign police paid to suppress the community.

Now, at this moment, it is actually in our hands to either support the regime who are slamming and locking shut all the doors against this targeted generation, or to gather our collective effort to shed light on their oppression and offer them hope towards a better path, the ability to follow their very reasonable and simple dream for freedom and stability.

Children in Bahrain: From Playground to Prison

A side event co-hosted by

Shia Rights Watch, Sentinel Human Rights Defenders and Freemuslim Association
Friday 19 June 2015 at 17.00-18.30

Room XXII, Palais des Nations United Nations Headquarters in Geneva

Since early 2011, the Bahraini government has engaged in an unprecedented campaign to criminalize freedom of speech and expression, association and assembly.
In September 2012 the UPR report on Bahrain was welcomed and the International Community urged the government to implement fully the accepted recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI). Nevertheless, the government has continued the suppression and harassment and there are now more people in the prison system than ever before, causing overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and furthering inhumane treatment.
Of greatest concern are the children who share the same fate as adults, accused and imprisoned on trumped up charges, to the extent that they are not dealt with in a manner that respects the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in any way. They are forcibly taken from their homes, schools or while at play, are physically brutalised and forced to become informants, and incarcerated in adult prisons as hostages to quell dissent in the broader family. The number of children currently detained in Bahraini adult prison facilities, and without access to medical care or education, has risen to more than 500.
Elsewhere police dogs are lead around inside classrooms, and tear gas has been used outside the schools at home-time which has caused panic and has an adverse health impact. Children have been shot at with tear gas canisters and peppered with shotgun pellets (bird shot) while at play in the street or when accompanying their parents on market stalls or elsewhere. Each of these abuses displays total violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Bahrain in 1992.
In an effort to encourage positive, productive engagement, and appealing for international attention and pressure to address the situation in Bahrain, we aim to discuss strategies to hold the government of Bahrain accountable for denying the rights of children, demand to take practical steps to address the concerns reflected in the UPR debate, and most urgently to immediately release all children and youths held in custody under false allegations. Youths charged of criminal offences should be provided legal and other appropriate assistance as prescribed by the UNCRC.
This event lends us the exceptional challenge to examine the destructive effect of the criminalisation of children in Bahrain and will tackle crucial matters of international concern around the Bahraini Governments attitude towards the children of families whose allegiance is under suspicion.

Shia News Wire_#22

1200 Roses for Shia Rights Watch ‘s International Day of Shia Rights Campaign

Shia Rights Watch staff, volunteers and interns        commemorated Shia International Day in the heart of  Washington DC, Farragut Square and Dupont Circle. 1200  roses were distributed along with a messages of carrying for  Shia children victims in Bahrain.

  In memory of the June 12, 2014 attack on Camp Speicher in  Iraq, Shia Rights Watch has declared June 12th the  International Day of Shia Rights. The International Day of  Shia Rights was created in hopes of generating greater awareness of the struggles Shia Muslims around the world currently face. The focus of the 2015 campaign is ending the illegal detainment of the 550 Bahraini minors who were arrested due to involvement in peaceful protests.

Despite Bahrain being a signatory of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), they have consistently violated numerous articles in both documents. Bahrain has incarcerated, tortured, and even killed numerous underage minors in attempts of subduing peaceful protests and anti-regime gatherings.

On June 12th SRW launches the social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and encourages everyone to join in the discussion using #612ShiaDay.

Shia Killing in Pakistan Continues

At least three Shia Muslims from the Shia Hazara community were shot by anti-Shia terrorists in two separate incidents in the Pakistani city of Quetta Also District Superintendent Police (DSP) Majeed Abbasi was killed when a gunman opened fire at his vehicle in Karachi’s Shah Latif Town. According to witnesses he was shot several times by assailants on motorbikes and died on spotSectarian violence — in particular against Shia Muslims, who make up roughly 25 per cent of Pakistan’s 200 million people — has claimed thousands of lives in the country over the past decade. The worst such attack on the Shia Hazaras took place on January 10, 2013, saw a suicide bomber blow himself up in a small snooker hall, with the overall toll close to 100.

Though the Shia Hazara community staged sit in protest at Quetta and also hold the protest press conference but state machinery had failed to arrest a single terrorists in Pakistan

Seven Car Bombs Seized by Iraqi Forces

Iraqi forces seized sever bombs placed in cars intending to enter the city of Karbala in Iraq. Cars belonged to individuals pretending to seek shelter and asylum in Karbala due to unrest in the rest of the cities in Iraq.

Officers searched and found bombs inside cars. Karbala and Najaf are two safest cities in Iraq where millions of pilgrims visit every year. Anti-Shia terrorists attempted to exploded number of bombs in these cities but failed.

Poll Results- May 15th- May 31st

Countries with highest violence against Shia Muslims

From May 15th to May 31st, Shia Rights Watch conducted a poll on its website, asking people about which countries they believe witnessed the most hostility toward Shia Muslims. In the 16 days this poll was open, there were 1,150 respondents. The results were relatively dispersed, but Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq received the highest number of votes.

Pakistan, which received 210 votes, has a record of widespread human rights abuses against Shia Muslims occurring in within its borders. Over the period that this poll was open, nine people were killed in four separate attacks around Pakistan in four separate attacks. Many of these attacks involved gunmen on motorbikes shooting and killing Shia Muslims outside of their homes and places of employment. The worst day in Pakistan over this period came on May 25th when unknown gunmen killed four people in three incidents in the city of Quetta. The four victims are from the Hazara minority group which has faced ongoing violence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Violence in Pakistan against Shia Muslims and other minority groups has led the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to recommend that the country be placed on the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC).

Saudi Arabia, which received 250 votes, witnessed two devastating attacks within a week of each other. On May 22nd, a bomb detonated outside of a Shia mosque during Friday prayers in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qatif province, killing 21 and injuring 80. The following Friday, May 29th, a suicide bomber detonated himself outside of a Shia mosque in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, killing four and injuring 10. These two attacks were highly discussed in the media as ISIS claimed responsibility for them, therefore representing the expanding influence of the terrorist group beyond the borders of Iraq and Syria. The international community has condemned these two attacks, and Shia Rights Watch has called on the Saudi government to take greater actions to prepare for attacks such as these.

Over the course of this poll, Iraq received 450 votes which is the highest among the countries. This vote total mirrors the fact that most violence against Shia Muslims occurred in that country. From May 15th to May 31st, there were 254 Shia deaths. Attacks such as IEDs and suicide bombings occur almost daily in Iraq and usually carry victims in the single digits. On the other hand, attacks in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan occur less often but there tends to be more casualties than many singular incidents in Iraq. Although the news of bombings in Iraq does not make the news as often as those in other nations with large Shia populations, the danger for Shia in the country has not faded.

Overall, this poll has been helpful in analyzing how the perceptions of Shia Rights Watch community aligned with the information on Shia casualties. The information obtained from this study will be helpful as we further integrate your voice into our work.

International day for Shia Rights

 Join SRW campaign remembering Minors in Bahrain Prison

Shia Rights Watch proclaims June 12th as International Day of Shia Rights, inviting communities, human rights NGOs and governments to devote this day to promoting national observance for the sacrifices to advocate for minority rights all over the world.

Shia Muslims believe in all basic instructions of Islam as other Muslims. Although they represent large population of Muslims all around the world, they are the largest and most oppressed minority group worldwide.

The goal of the SRW is to increase awareness about this population and the oppression they face on basis of their faith. The NGO hopes such awareness can result in a reduction in discrimination, freedom of innocent prisoners, advocacy for the oppressed, recognition of Shia Muslims as rightful citizens and legalization of peaceful Shia practices around the world.

This year, Shia Rights Watch dedicates this day in remembrance of Shia 550 minors in Bahrain who have been detained and imprisoned in their journey to freedom. In their search for democracy, tens of Bahraini minors have sacrificed their future, in hopes of creating one brighter for all those around them. Despite Bahrain’s ratification of the International Convention for the Rights of a Child, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Bahrain has incarcerated, tortured and even killed numerous counts of underage minors in attempts of subduing peaceful protest.

Shia Rights Watch asks you to join our efforts in condemning human rights violations towards minority groups of all kinds and promoting remembrance for all those children whose basic right to life have been violated in their search for freedom.  Join us in our efforts to put an end to oppression on basis of belief, especially on children and youth.

To get involved with this campaign you can do the following:

  • Tweet with the hashtags #IntShiaDay and #612ShiaDay
  • Contact your congressional representatives and tell them to support the International Shia Rights Resolution
    • For more information on the International Shia Rights Resolution click here.

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Shia Rights Watch Defending Justice and Rights

Baqee Foundation

Freemuslim, Center for De-Radicalization and Extremist Prevention

Sentinel Human Rights Defenders

Muslims for peace 

Justice Human Rights Organization

Universal Muslim Association of America

UN Complaint