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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

International Day for Shia Rights #612ShiaDay


Shia Rights Watch Launches International Day of Shia Rights Campaign

Washington, D.C. – June 4, 2015– 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.

Shia Rights Watch intends to raise awareness of the events in Bahrain, as well as of minority oppression worldwide. In preparation for International Day of Shia Rights volunteers will be handing out roses

in Farragut Square June 10th from 1:00-2:15

and in

Dupont Circle June 11th from 4:15-5:30.

On June 12th we will launch the social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram and we encourage everyone to join in the discussion using #612ShiaDay.

Massacres and Maltreatment: Incidents of AntiShiism in May 2015

Incidents of Anti-Shiism in May 2015Incident_Against_Shia_Muslim

There has been a decrease in both the number of Shia killed during attacks and those that were arrested or abducted. The amount of Shia injured as a result of incidents has increased from last month, but still continues on a downward trend. There were over 300 deaths and more than 450 injuries this month. These figures result in an average of almost 11 deaths per day, and nearly 16 injured Shia every day. Violence against Shia is more focused on a handful of countries this month, and is now confirmed as present in Somalia in 2015. Anti-Shiism is a growing trend that will continue to gain notoriety until the international community addresses the issue.Incident_Against_Shia_Muslim_1


This report will analyze the data compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between May 1st and May 29th. 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 March.

Where have Shia Muslims been targeted?

                April saw Shia Muslims targeted in 7 different countries: Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Bahrain, and Somalia. It is possible that Shias from other countries were targeted when they went to Iraq to visit the holy shrine of Musa Kadhim, but there has been no explicit reporting of such. In total there were 308 deaths, 452 injuries, and one abduction that we are aware of.


The violence against Shia Muslims in Iraq continues to be the actions of non-state actors persecuting Shia for their beliefs. This month there were Shia pilgrims from around the world visiting the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim, and this shrine is located in the Northwestern part of Baghdad. In previous reports, Baghdad was the center of violence in an effort from Daesh to distract the security and coalition forces so they could maintain their control of the Anbar Province. However, this month the Shia pilgrims were the targets, and Iraq deployed a massive force to protect the pilgrims. It is unclear whether the increased security forces or the defeat of Daesh around Iraq is responsible for this having the lowest violence figures so far this year.Shia_Rights_Watch_Method_KilledDjos_Deatths

The deaths and injuries against Shia in Iraq result from bombings, shootings, mortar shells, and a combination of the three. There were at least 228 deaths and 312 injuries in Iraq this month as a direct product of the Shia Genocide. The number of deaths in Iraq is a decrease from 298 of the previous month, and the injuries decreased negligibly from 307 to 305. More mass graves were uncovered in Tikrit, and the number of deceased was around 470 people. Most of those executed were Shia, but all were killed by Daesh when they held the city. There was also one kidnapping in Iraq, and unfortunately the Shia person from Basra was subsequently killed.


There were seven incidents of anti-Shiism in Pakistan this month that we are aware of, and they both occurred throughout the month. The attackers continue to use either bombs or guns to carry out their plots, and bombs lead both the casualty figures. There were at least 54 Shia deaths and 47 injuries in Pakistan this month. As was foreseeable from the last report, it appears that the shock of the deadly attacks on school children may have worn off as anti-Shiism seems to be making a resurgence in Pakistan. However, the government has taken a stand on hate speech by sentencing a man to five years in jail for referring to Shia as infidels when he was leading prayer.

Saudi Arabia

All eyes were on Saudi Arabia this month as a Daesh suicide bomber detonated in a Shia mosques in Qatif and Dammam. 25 Shias were killed from this incident, and anywhere from 80 to 100 more were injured. There were protests from the Shia community around the world that claim this attack happened because the Saudi government does not want to protect Shias. It could have been a deliberate failure of intelligence or just an accidental lapse in it. However, the King of Saudi Arabia has declared that those who carried out the attack and their sympathizers will be destroyed. Whether the claim is substantive or not will have to be seen. Saudi Arabia plans to execute political prisoner Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, but there are global appeals to prevent the execution. Shia Rights Watch urges the Saudi Arabian government to halt the execution, and release political prisoners who merely ask for democracy.Shia_Rights_Watch_Method_Killed_2


On the same day that all were distracted in Saudi Arabia, Daesh launched another bombing on a Shia mosque in Yemen. It could have ended more like the incident in Saudi Arabia, or even like the previous mosque bombings in Yemen. Luckily only 13 Shias were injured in the blast, but the violence needs to end.


There were two incidents of anti-Shiism that Shia Rights Watch is aware of in Nigeria this month, but more information is always welcome. One was a letter the soon-to-be President of Nigeria in which the author warned of keeping Shias close or in the government in general. The author claims to not align with Boko Haram, but concludes his letter with, “If your promise is to tackle insecurity is real you must cut down the Shia.” The other incident was an attempt on the life of the Sheikh Zakzaky who is the leader of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria. A mob of people with weapons approached his home twice within a 24 hour period, but were repelled by guards. Zakzaky has resided at that home for 20 years, and has never had trouble with the neighborhood before, and claims this was orchestrated by the security forces.



Bahrain regime forces have been otherwise tame this month as we do not have any recorded arrests against Shias. However, they did confiscate speakers, banners, and flags that the protesters use in front of the Al-Sadeq Mosque West of Manama. On May 11, a court in Bahrain extended Nabeel Rajab’s arbitrary detention by 15 days, and his six month sentence was upheld by an appeals court on May 14. Nabeel Rajab’s crime was peacefully protesting and using social media to call for a more representative government. A Shia man, Khalid Abdul Aal, was sentenced to one year in prison for insulting the government using Twitter. Bahrain Cleric, Jalal al-Sharqi denounced Shias claiming that they do not believe in Allah, are Jewish, and deserve no mercy. The Bahraini government has done nothing to dissuade these anti-Shia messages, and must do so in order to curb sectarian hatred.


The Mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Hussein, has vowed to shut down any humanitarian Non-Governmental Organization that is spreading Shia Islam. He said that, “Somalia is a Sunni nation, and don’t need false Shia ideology. As a Mogadishu Mayor, I will not allow Shia ideology to spread and will fight at every cost.” This is the first instance of anti-Shiism that Shia Rights Watch has recorded for Somalia in 2015.


In February, 31 Shia Hazaras were abducted from a bus in Afghanistan, and last month Shia Rights Watch reported that three of them were found dead. Just as hope was looking dim, 19 Hazaras from the kidnapping were released on May 11. There were rumors that this was in exchange for 22 detainees, but the Afghan government denies these claims.Shia_Rights_Watch_Shia_Injured_3


The amount of Shia killed by bombs this month is about the same, but the amount of Shias wounded from bombs has increased 23 percent from last month. Terrorists began using mortars again, and those have not been used since March (most recent). The deaths from shootings decreased this month, and this month there were injuries sustained from gunfire. There have been no beheadings or stabbings of Shia this month. The utilization of a combination of methods to kill Shia has increased slightly from 60 to 78.


More governments and government officials are taking anti-Shia stances, and it is a worrying trend. Citizens look to the government for leadership, and these attitudes can have a significant impact on the populace. The events in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia could be demonstrating that incidents in those countries will increase. Thankfully, some of those who were abducted in Afghanistan are being returned to their families, and there were no reported beheadings this month. Hopefully we will continue to see trends of decreased arbitrary arrests, sentences, and violence against Shia as time continues.


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Dammam_Saudi Arabia

Second Attack to Shia Mosque at Friday Prayer in Saudi Arabia

May 29th, 2015

One week after the deadly suicide bombing in Qatif that left 21 people dead, including two children, an alleged suicide attack has struck outside a Shia mosque in Dammam, eastern Saudi Arabia, during Friday prayers on 29 May.

According to Saudi interior ministry four people were killed and many injured after a car exploded in a parking lot near the Imam al-Hussein mosque in Dammam. The bomber detonated his explosives after being stopped by security guards. The alleged suicide bomber was disguised as a woman and attempted to blow himself up inside the women’s section of the mosque.

In March 2011, Qatif was the center of demonstrations against what minority including Shia Muslim perceived as decades of discrimination and religious and political repression from the Wahabbi kingdom. Since then, many have been killed and couple hundreds imprisoned including leaders such as Shikh Nimr who is expecting excursion any day.

There are more than 2.7 million Shia in Saudi Arabia, most living in al-Ahsa and al-Qatif districts in the country’s eastern province, which also contains the bulk of the kingdom’s oil.

Bahrain to Imprison Khalid Abdul Aal

May 26th, 2015

Bahraini kingdom sentenced Khalid Abdul Aal, former MP, to one year in jail after criticizing tweet back in April 2014. The former lawmaker said that the sentence proves lack of freedom of speech in the country.

Bahrain’s anti Shia strategies has resulted in many death, imprisonments and unrest in this monarchy.

Three Shooting in Quetta Claimed Number of Shia lives

May 22, 2015

Shootings in Quetta resulted in four deaths and eight injuries. A gunman opened fire at a coffee shop killing one and injuring one. Another incident involved two motorcyclers opening fire to line of doctor patience’s killing two and injuring four.  Later on, unidentified armed men opened fire at two separate buildings on Jinnah Road in minutes apart, leaving three people dead and nine others injured. Shia of Hazara community have always been target of hatred killings and attacks.

Gunman Killed one in Pakistan

May 22, 2015

A gunman attacked traveling family in their car killing one and wounding two in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Police confirmed that the targeted victims belonged to the minority Shia community who have been under attack in this country. No group has claimed the responsibility yet and most of such cases are not investigated by the government.

Iraq discovered Mass Grave in Tikrit

Iraq Mass grave

On Thursday May 28th, Iraqi officials from the Ministry of Health announced that they have exhumed over 470 bodies from a mass grave. This mass grave was found in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, which was previously held by ISIS. Bodies found in this grave are believed to be victims of the Camp Speicher Massacre. This massacre occurred on June 12, 2014 when ISIS militants killed over 1,700 cadets from the Iraqi Air Force. Many of the cadets who were killed were young Shia men. The Ministry of Health said that the first round of names of the victims will be released next week. Although many bodies have been exhumed in this mass grave, hundreds are reported to remain missing.

Hussein Conference

Shia Rights Watch was proud to have presence in the conference of Imam Hussein this year in Chicago, the conference was organized by the Universal Muslim Association of America, which hold the largest Shia event in northern America.

This three day conference was organized to present the message of peace and solidarity towards oppressed Shia all around the world.  Shia Muslims always have shown the true meaning of faith and humanity toward all minorities, respecting others and bringing the message of Islam in its true meaning of Peace. Presence of human rights activists, scholars and NGOs in this conference brought together great networking tools to be able work hand in hand toward understanding the religion and presenting it in right way.

Many activist, writers and scholars met Shia Rights Watch’s director, Mustafa Akhwand, showing their support to the message of peace and non-violence. “It is very important that the west know why Shia Muslims are a minority with majority violent against them,” said Mustafa Akhwand. Shia Muslims have always campaigned to bring peace and justice to the region without hesitating to support, help and live with people of other faith.

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Attack to Shia Mosque in Saudi Arabia on Friday Prayer

Shia Rights Watch is appalled at the deadly suicide bombing that occurred in the town of Al-Qudaih in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qatif region at a Shia mosque which killed 20 people and injured 120 others. This bombing which occurred during Friday prayers is one of the worst acts of violence committed against Shia in 2015. In an already under privileged area in the country, this attack only further oppresses Shia. Periodic attacks coupled with systematic discrimination have been devastating for the Shia community in the eastern province.

Shia Rights Watch requests that the Saudi government do the utmost to ensure that nothing like this happens again. While the Saudi government has been conducting an investigation into the causes of this attack, it is important that both the proximate and distal causes are addressed. In addition to the investigation, restorative measures need to be sought in order to better address the divisions between Sunnis and Shia in Saudi Arabia.

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Attack to Shia Mosque in Saudi Arabia on Friday Prayer

An alleged suicide  bomber has detonated explosives in a Shia mosque in Shia populated area of Qatif claimed 22 lives and injured many today.
A suicide bomb exploded inside the mosque as Shia Muslims celebrated birth anniversary of their 3rd Imam and performed Friday Prayer. So far as many as 22 are reported killed and number of wounded is not announced yet. Officials believe many are in critical condition.
Saudi Shia are minorities that face many violations in this country and now local targeted bombings are threatening this community.
Shia Rights Watch urges Saudi forces to investigate the attack and protect this minority in the country.

UN Complaint