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Pakistan;Rights Unrecognized

The Shia Rights Watch report entitled “Pakistan: Rights Unrecognized” details widespread militant violence against Shia Muslims in Pakistan. This 24 page long report gives a glimpse into how targeted shootings and mosque bombings have inflicted immense pain on the Shia minority around the country. Pakistani Shia Muslims have been targets of un-investigated violence throughout the history and the oppression continues.

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Incidents of Anti-Shiism in April 2015

الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذا التقرير باللغة العربية

There has been a decrease in both the number of Shia killed and those that were injured during attacks. However, there has been an increase in the amount of Shia arrested around the world. There were more than 300 deaths and over 250 injuries this month. There were also 19 abductions and 126 arrests in April. These figures result in an average of nearly 11 deaths per day, more than 8 injured Shia per day, and almost 9 people arrested every two days. Anti-Shiism has spread to more countries this month compared to earlier months this year, and is now confirmed as present in Nigeria and Madagascar in 2015. Anti-Shiism is a growing trend that will continue to gain notoriety until the international community addresses the issue.

Shia Rights Watch_trendOverview

This report will analyze the data compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between April 1st and April 30th. The data for this report was gathered from a variety of different sources. 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 8 different countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Bahrain, Syria, and Madagascar. In total there were 306 deaths, 279 injuries, and 126 arrests. Although this data focuses primarily on the aforementioned categories, incidents such as the abductions of Shia in Afghanistan and Syria will be mentioned in this report. An overwhelming majority of the Shia deaths and injuries in April occurred in Iraq, whereas the bulk of the arrests took place in Bahrain.

shia rights watch_Anti-shiiism_2015


shia rights watch_Anti-shiiism_2015TThe violence against Shia Muslims in Iraq continues to be the actions of non-state actors persecuting Shia for their beliefs. The deaths and injuries against Shia in Iraq result from bombings, shooting, and a combination of the two. There were at least 302 deaths and 258 injuries in Iraq this month as a direct product of the Shia Genocide. The number of deaths in Iraq is a decrease from 376 of the previous month, but the injuries increased from 165 to 258. The violence variables have fluctuated over the course of the year, and will mostly likely continue to do so. Many of these bombings take place in the various areas of Baghdad by terrorists hoping to remove the security forces’ focus from the outer regions of Iraq.



Last month there were 67 Shia abducted, and this month there were only 9 abductions. However, the bodies of some of the previous hostages have been turning up around Afghanistan. The abductors are confirmed to be Taliban (or allied to the Taliban) in some circumstances, and suspected to be Taliban in the other instances. Five of the Shia killed this month were beheaded by the Islamic State that is attempting to take root in Afghanistan. According to the New York Times, the Taliban is determined to not be outshined in brutality by the Islamic State, and has begun beheading the Shia Hazaras they kidnap. Three of the 30 Hazaras that were kidnapped in February were found dead, and one of them was beheaded in a video. There was also one instance of Taliban militants forcing Hazaras off a bus, and stabbing all seven of them to death. This illustrates the dedication these people have to the extermination of Shia, because stabbing is a very intimate, purposeful type of murder. The Afghanistan Security Forces need to make a more concerted effort to protect the Shia minority from the likes of Takfiri terrorists who seek to wipe them out.

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Pakistanshia rights watch_Method of killed_2015T

There were only two incidents of anti-Shiism in Pakistan this month that we are aware of, and they both occurred at the end of the month. The first one was a roadside bomb in Balochistan which killed four people and injured 18 more. The other incident happened in Peshawar where a Shia shopkeeper was shot at least three times that led to his death. Pakistan was in a cooling off period the past month or two, but these two events so close together could hint at a resurgence in anti-Shiism in Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia continued its oppression of Shia in their Eastern Province by conducting home raids which resulted in the arrest of 30 people. Saudi Prince Saud bin Nayyef bin Abdul Aziz is the governor of the Eastern Province, and made openly anti-Shia statements. He remarked that, “There are good men [in the Eastern Province], and there is also evil filth.” He went on to affiliate the evil filth with an old Shia dynasty, and accused them of trying to divide Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is known for its extremely conservative form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism which does not see Shia as true Muslims, and this is the first anti-Shia statement made by a Saudi prince.

shia rights watch_Injured_2015


Nigeria is well known for the infamous work of Takfiri terrorist group Boko Haram targeting anyone who is against their radical interpretation of Islam. On April 20th there was a failed suicide bombing of an open air Shia mosque in Potiskum, Nigeria. Three Shia were injured by shrapnel from the explosion while the terrorist lost the lower half of his body. Boko Haram has attacked Shia in the past, but this is the first news media report of an anti-Shia attack in Nigeria in 2015.

Bahrainshia rights watch_Injured_2015T

The conditions in Bahrain continue from the abuse of prisoners in Jaw Prison to the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and concussive grenades on peaceful protesters. Prisoners in Jaw face beatings, torture, a lack of medical care and basic hygiene which is evident from the recent outbreak of scabies and the conditions of prisoners when they are allowed to see their families. There have been 91 arrests of activists in Bahrain since the beginning of April, and Nabeel Rajab is among those detained. His sentence has been extended by two weeks twice. There were just under 200 arrests for this year which means the arrests in Bahrain in April account for nearly half of the arrests for 2015. On April 28, the Bahraini government arrested 28 people on terrorism charges, but did not release any names or targets of the attacks. The suspicious nature of the arrests combined with the Bahraini government’s history of oppressing Shia leads us to believe that some, if not all, of those arrested were Shia. Shia Rights Watch will monitor the situation for more details.

Syriashia rights watch_Abducted_2015T

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria kidnapped around 50 people on March 31st, and ten of those hostages were Ismaili Shia. The news of the abductions was not released, because the families were negotiating with the terrorists. However, the

dialogue has broken down recently. The other hostages were taken for their perceived loyalty to the Ismailis even though they are Sunni. Six of the Ismailis are women, and there were 15 other women taken. Head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes that the women are sure to become slaves as this is one of the ways that the Islamic State funds itself and gains followers.


On April 20th, Shia Rights Watch was notified by one of our sources that the head of a Shia Mosque was arrested for an unknown reason. This a troubling development, because this would be the first time in 2015 that anti-Shiism has appeared in Madagascar. Shia Rights Watch will be following up on this case to monitor for religious persecution and human rights violations.

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The amount of Shia killed or wounded by bombs this month is down significantly from last month, and mirrors the yearly trend of decreased deaths and injuries. Bombs were also the only method that caused injuries to Shia this month. The deaths from shootings remain about the same while the amount of Shia killed by beheadings has double since last month. The utilization of a combination of methods to kill Shia has decreased significantly from 161 to 35. New to the report is the addition of stabbings which is a worrying trend if it continues to be a method selected by religiously motivated murderers.


Anti-Shiism seems to be taking more of a hold in police forces and governments, because the amount of Shia arrested this month increased substantially from 28 to 126. Some governments may be realizing how to commit sectarian discrimination more inconspicuously, and this is something to watch out for. Thankfully, the amount of Shia being abducted has decreased from 67 to 19, but the fate of those kidnapped last month appears to be grim as more bodies are turning up. Iraq still remains the deadliest place to be a Shia Muslim, and anti-Shiism has been reported in two more countries. Hopefully the mainstream media picks up on the violence that occurs against Shia in Nigeria. Bahrain continues to have the most arrests among the countries with anti-Shiism, but Saudi Arabia may be increasing their unabashed anti-Shia efforts. Share this report to increase awareness about the Shia genocide being committed around the world so that we may put an end to the suffering.


The Unwelcomed Muslims in Malaysia

The “The Unwelcomed Muslims in Malaysia” is a well-documented report of incidents of Shia rights violation in the country of Malaysia. According to the report, Shia is considered a “deviant” interpretation of Islam and is a banned faith. In the year 2010 and 2011 the government openly attacked two of the Shia ceremonies and arrested many of the participants.

Shia Muslims do not feel secure in the country and practice their faith secretly.

The document narrates the situation of the Shia Muslims in this country and recommends solutions to the problem.

The report is one of a kind in highlighting the Shia rights violations in Malaysia.


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The Honorable Mr. Serdar Kılıç

No: 903

Date: September 11, 2014

The Honorable Mr. Serdar Kılıç

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey

2525 Massachusetts Ave NW,

Washington, DC 20008

Dear Honorable Ambassador Kılıç,

We here at Shia Rights Watch are writing to you today to draw your attention to the Shia rights violations taking place in Turkey. The Shia population worldwide has fallen victim to sectarian discrimination and repression by governments and armed groups. With the rise of the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the security problem of the Shia Muslims has become worse in the region. We would like to inform you that there have been three Shia mosque attacks since June 2014 in different regions of Istanbul and would like to ask your cooperation with regards to protecting the Shia Muslim population of Turkey.

On June 9, 2014 a Ja’fari mosque, Allahu Ekber Ehlibeyt, in Esenyurt district of Istanbul was set to fire. On July 9, 2014 Muhammediye mosque in Esenyurt was attacked by strangers who are thought to be the members of ISIS. The Imam, Hamza Aydin, stated that 10 days prior to the attack, he was verbally threatened and his congregation was accused of “worshipping to the stones and crying to the shrines.” Despite the fact that Aydin informed the police about the threat, he said the police failed to take precautions against any further jeopardy. The library section of the mosque was set on fire 10 days after the verbal threats against. The two attackers were reported to say “we will not allow you to recite the ezan here in this mosque” during their attack. On September 3, 2014 the under-construction Imam Ali mosque was attacked by a group of 20-30 people who shouted that they did not want a Shia mosque in their neighborhood.

Shia Rights Watch sees these actions as a violation of Article 2 and Article 18 of Declaration of Human Rights.   These attacks are not only violations of religious and identity freedom, but a threat to the unity of Turkish people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well. As ISIS is the major threat to the freedom of the minority groups, including the Shia people in the region, we, as Shia Rights Watch, kindly ask the Turkish Embassy of Washington, DC to work with us on the issue of protecting the rights of the Turkish Shias.

With Respect,

Mustafa Akhwand

Director of Shia Rights Watch



President Obama: Violations in Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Violations in Saudi Arabia

No: 899

 Date: March 21, 2014



Mr. Barack Obama,

President of the United States of America

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama;

On behalf of the Shia Rights Watch (SRW), we respectfully urge you to use your upcoming meeting to press Saudi Arabia’s King, King Abdullah, to do more to protect the human rights of every Saudi, including the right to religious freedom regardless of religion or sect.
As you know, Arabia implements the most restricted laws against religious minorities, with the frequency and scope human rights violations increasing and therefore threatening people’s safety and freedom, particularly the majority Shia Muslims population, as well as its smallest religious minority communities, including Christians. 

Saudi Shia Muslims have always been treated as second class citizen without fair access to higher exudation and employment. They cannot practice their religion and honor their rituals even in their own privet properties without the fear of the authority: As an example there not a single Shia Islamic center or mosque in Ryadh despite its Shia population. Shia Muslims’ most historical mosques and graveyard such as Al- Baqi Cemetery have been destroyed and Shia are not allowed to visit the remains of such historical sites. Moreover Shia who visit this country for Hajj rituals face discrimination and degradation in different levels by the kingdom forces and their prayers books and holey stones are disposed at the airports. Clerics such as Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Rubaie, who are employed by the kingdom, issue hatred statements against this population and even suggested demanding tribute (religious tax) from Shia in the kingdom.

In your meeting with King Abdullah, we hope that you will stress to him the vital importance of human dignity and having respect and tolerance towards all people and also discussing the importance of implementing freedom of religion for all its lawful citizens.  We also hope that you will press him to stop founding and providing safe haven to terrorist groups. Finally, we hope that you will discuss the need for the protection of minority rights and freedom for all.
We hope you agree that discussing the problems of sectarian tensions, violence, and human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia with King Abdulla is essential.  Without addressing these concerns, religious freedom in Arabia will continue to erode and the country will not have the peaceful, democratic future that its people deserve and the United States seeks to encourage.

Thank you for considering our request.


Mustafa Akhwand

Director of Shia Rights Watch

Incidents of Anti-Shiism in March 2015

2015 is only a quarter of the way through, and the trend of anti-Shiism in the world continues to increase. There were nearly 560 deaths and over 550 injuries this month. These figures result in an average over 18 deaths per day, and nearly 19 injuries per day. There has also been a spread of anti-Shia ideology that ranges from the Western shores of Africa to the seas of Southeast Asia. Anti-Shiism is a growing trend that will continue to gain notoriety until the international community addresses the issue.


This report will analyze the data compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between March 1st and March 31st. The data for this report was gathered from a variety of different sources. The most well-known incidents of anti-Shiism were retrieved from the variety of sources including 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?

March saw Shia Muslims targeted in 11 countries: Iraq, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Morocco,India, and the United Arab Emirates. In total there were 559 deaths, 586 injuries, and 28 arrests. Although this data focuses primarily on the aforementioned categories, incidents such as the deportation of Shias in the UAE and the abductions of Shia in Afghanistan will be mentioned in this report.

The bulk of violent incidents have occurred in Iraq, which has witnessed countless bombings in Shia populated areas. Yemen suffered the most wounded during March with more than double the amount of Shias wounded in Iraq. Bahrain had the majority of the arrests this month, but Pakistan and Azerbaijan began cracking down on Shias as well. The amount of Shias that were killed or injured in Iraq has been declining since the start of the 2015, but the conflict in Yemen creates a new flash point for Shia genocide. The next section of this report will present and analyze the data compiled on anti-Shiism.Incident agaisnt shia muslims


The violence against Shia Muslims in Iraq in March was the result of non-state actors persecuting Shias for their beliefs. The violence against Shia have largely come in the form of bombings and shootings that has targeted Shia neighborhoods. A total of 376 Shia Muslims were killed in Iraq this month, and an additional 165 were injured. The number of deaths is an increase from the 281 deaths that occurred last year, but injuries have significantly decreased from 486 to 165.Incident agaisnt shia muslims_1

Last month’s report found that there was a decrease in deaths and an increase in injuries while this month is the inverse, and neither are tolerable. However, the trend from the past quarter does illustrate a decrease in both the amount of deaths and injuries. One could speculate that this trend is a result of the coalition forces gaining ground on the Islamic State terrorists.


The violence in Yemen began this month on March fourth when a car bomb exploded outside a stadium in Beitha which resulted in the death of 10 Shias and the wounding of 50 more. This was only the beginning of the casualties as 167 Shias were murdered, and 400 were injured. 143 of the deaths and 350 of the injuries took place on March 20th when the Islamic State terrorists performed four mosque bombings. This is the first month this year that Yemen has had reported anti-Shia incidents, but the invasion by neighboring Gulf States may bring more casualties. The Arab coalition forces have already begun racking up the civilian casualties, which include a refugee camp, and the invasion cannot end well.Shia Death_March_1Shia Death_March3D


Eight Shias were beheaded at the hands of the Islamic State in Syria this month. This number is decreased from last month’s number of 11 deaths and 26 injuries, but Shia Rights Watch’s eyewitnesses have informed us of more occurrences. Unfortunately, our numbers are not exact, because we lack access to enough information within Syria. We hope to have more exact figures within the coming months.Shia Rights Watch_Method killed3D


In March 2015, there was a decrease in bomb attacks targeting Shia in Pakistan. On March 20, a bomb planted on a motorcycle was detonated outside of a Shia mosque in Karachi. Two were killed and six wounded. On March 2, the Punjab government re-arrested Allam Gulam Raza Naqvi and five of his guards in Lahore. Naqvi, as the leader of Shia Movement Pakistan, was accused of promoting sectarian violence. The Pakistani Shia denounces these charges. During March, five Shia were killed and five Shia were wounded in shootings. The increase in shootings indicates a violent reaction to the recent backlash against the Pakistani Taliban. Increased backlash against the militant group followed the bomb attacks, such as the December 2014 Peshawar school massacre. On March 9, Sipah-e-Sahaba defaced a Shia mosque in Larkana with pro-ISIS graffiti.Shia Injured_march3D


Bahrain accounted for a majority of the arrests for this month, and have not changed noticeably for the past few months. There were 21 Shias arrested this month, 21 last month, and 24 in January. This illustrates that the government crackdown on dissidents will continue if left unchecked.

The anti-Shiism has a firm grasp in Bahrain, and this can be seen by the prisoner mistreatment, attacks by the regime forces, and the systematic oppression of Shias. There have been 50 Bahraini women arrested since the beginning of 2015, and 16 others injured in attacks. 14 prisoners in Jaw were wounded during an attack, and 14 others went missing. There are an additional 155 cases of mistreatment against detainees in various prisons across Bahrain since the New Year began. On March 8th, a woman was hit with shotgun pellets which put her in critical condition. Talieb Ali was attacked by a police dog on March 23rd which resulted in his back being injured, and all of his fingers being broken. Shia children up to the age of 18 were prevented from attending school on March 3rd in Al Dair, Shahrakan, Yathrib, Hamadlify, and Al Huara. Finally, the Bahraini government sentenced 11 Shias to 15 years in prison each for allegedly attacking a police station.

The international community needs to stand with the Shia population in Bahrain, because they are being oppressed every day. These brutal attacks and mistreatments are unwarranted, and need to stop as soon as possible.


This is the first time that Azerbaijan has had an incident this year. According to Forum18, a translator and Shia scholar, JeyhunJafarov, was arrested for exercising his right to freedom of religion. He will be detained for four months while he is investigated for treason which carries a life sentence. This is not the first prisoner of conscience that Azerbaijan has held, but the previous detainees were Sunnis distributing literature which was not censored by the government.Shia_Arrest_March2015_3D


On February 24, 2015, the abduction of 30 Hazara Shia in Zabul, Afghanistan sparked international outrage. In March, a total of 16 Shia were kidnapped from the towns of Ghazni and Kanisk though no one has claimed responsibility. On March 25, 2015, 20 Baloch Shia were abducted in Daykundi by the Afghani Taliban. The Afghan government claimed the attack was meant to draw the Afghan National Army away from remote areas in eastern Afghanistan, where the Afghani Taliban are most active. There has been no progress in determining the whereabouts of the Shia kidnapped. The spike in abductions is likely to continue, unless the Afghan government takes more meaningful action in protecting its Shia communities.


Shia Cleric Abbas Zogheib’s car was shot in front of his home in Beirut, Lebanon on March 6, 2015. Luckily he was not inside the vehicle at the time that the two shots penetrated it, but he has filed a police report about the incident. Zogheib is a well-known negotiator and mediator, and he was previously shot in 2014 while intervening between clans.


Indonesia exhibited more and more anti-Shiism as the month progressed, and this is the first time that it has been included in the monthly report. 34 Shia Muslim prisoners were forced to recant their faith in front of religious clerics and local police on March 11th. On the same day, anti-Shia banners were displayed in Yogyakarta that stated “Shia is not Islam” as well as “Shiites are infidels.” Yogyakarta was declared the city of tolerance only a few years ago, and this is a sign that anti-Shiism is spreading. In the last two years, there has been a rise in anti-Shia seminars at various mosques in Yogyakarta. The seminars, which were supported by free pamphlets distributed by the Indonesian Ulema Council, advanced the message that Shiites are “heretical.” There has also been an inmate in the Nusa Kambanga island prison which is reportedly translating Islamic State propaganda from English and Arabic into Indonesian, and distributing it in the prison. The prisoner has access to the internet through corrupt guards.Shia_death_injuries_Arrest_March2015

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates’ authorities are deported 70 Lebanese, 63 of which are Shias, on March 14, 2015. There has been no reason given for the deportation, but some have stated that the mostly Shia population is being targeted for their religion. Others have speculated that the United Arab Emirates is attempting to rid their country of people with ties to Iran or Hezbollah.

This is not the first time that the UAE has deported Lebanese, because they deported dozens in 2009 and 125 in 2010. The reasons given by the government was that the people had connections to Hezbollah, or “for security reasons.”

However, it is deplorable for a country in the 21st Century to remove people from their territory for religious reasons. Shia Rights Watch urges the United Arab Emirates to allow these Lebanese Shias back to the UAE, and to stop perpetuating the idea that Shias are Iranians.


Salafist Mohamed Maghraoui delivered speech on the dangers of Shiism on March 17th in Morocco. The Salafists criticized the founding of the Shia group “Al-Khat Al-Rissali for Studies and Publishing” after a report was released listing the efforts of Iran to spread instability to African countries. Morocco has come to regard Shia Islam as a destabilizing force and serving Iranian goals.


The municpal government of Lucknow is denying Shias the right to put up billboards on a stretch of road between two imambaras where it is tradition to put up banners and billboards during Moharam. The property in question is privately owned, and the government has no right to enforce it as a no banner or billboard area.


The amount of Shias killed and wounded from bombs is nearly identical to the same categories from last month. The number of deaths and injuries from shootings have increased this month. The number of deaths from a combination of methods has increased, but the amount of Shias wounded from a combination of methods has decreased dramatically from 62 to seven. Mortar deaths and injuries have also decreased, while beheadings have made their first appearance in the report.


Anti-Shiism is increasing as the year progresses, and it is plain to see how far it is reaching. Iraq is still the deadliest place for Shia Muslims, but Yemen may become a new location for the Shia genocide to take hold. Bahrain remains the country with the most governmental violations against Shias with their arrests, sentences, and police brutality. Finally, just as the events in Pakistan are cooling down, we are seeing more incidents of anti-Shiism in Afghanistan, India, and Indonesia. There needs to be more attention brought to the pain and suffering of these Shia civilians, and there must be a push to end the violence.

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When It Will End February 2015

The second monthly anti-Shi’ism report by Shia Rights Watch continues where the previous report left off. There were more than 350 deaths and over 700 injuries this month. This month has also witnessed the first incident of violence against Shia in Central Asia this year with the kidnapping of 30 Afghan Shia. Anti-Shiism remains an urgent issue that needs to be addressed by the international community.


This report will analyze the data compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between February 1st and February 28th. The data for this report was gathered from a variety of different sources. The most well-known incidents of anti-Shiism were retrieved from US News and ABC but lesser known incident were retrieved from the Iraq body count in addition to 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 a clear intent to target Shia Muslims on the basis of their religious beliefs. The subsequent sections will present and analyze the data gathered by Shia Rights Watch for February.

Where have Shia Muslims been targeted?

February saw Shia Muslims targeted in five countries: Bahrain, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The incidents included in this report are murders, injuries, and arrests. In total there have been 370 deaths, 731 injuries, and 21 arrests. Although this data primarily focuses on the aforementioned categories, incidents such as the revocation of citizenship in Bahrain and the kidnapping of Shia in Afghanistan will be mentioned in this report.

The bulk of violent incidents have occurred in Iraq, which has witnessed dozens of bombings in Shia populated areas. Along with the deaths, the bulk of the injuries during February occurred in Iraq. All of the arrests that have occurred were in Bahrain. This section is roughly similar to this portion of last month’s report which shows that there has not been much change in the situation of Shia around the world. The next section of this report will present and analyze the data compiled on anti-Shiism.ShiaRightsWatch.org_February_1



Violence against Shia Muslims in Iraq in February largely came at the hands of non-state actors such as ISIS. The violence against Shia have largely come in the form of bombings and mortar fire that has targeted Shia neighborhoods. A total of 331 Shia Muslims were killed in Iraq this month and an additional 586 injured. The number of deaths is a significant decrease from the 438 deaths that occurred last year, but injuries have increased from 235 to 586. While the decrease in deaths is a step in the right direction, the number of injured in Iraq shows that Shia in the country are being targeted at a similar, if not higher rate.


Violence against Shia in Pakistan has declined in both the deaths and injuries columns. The number of deaths in Pakistan declined from 91 in January to 28 in February, and the number of injuries declined from 66 in January to 49 in February. This can be attributed in part to heightened security at mosques. Suicide bombers were subdued before detonating their vests in at least three incidents this month.

One of the more violent incidents occurred when four militants connected with the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) attacked a Shia Mosque in Peshawar. The militants, strapped with suicide vests, scaled the walls surrounding the mosque and began shooting at worshippers and lobbing grenades before detonating themselves. Three of the four worshippers detonated their suicide vests and the fourth militant was stopped by worshippers in the mosque before he could detonate.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in January, the international and local communities have denounced the violence against Shias in Pakistan. There have been many reports of human chains made up of Sunni, Shia, Hindi, and more guarding Shia mosques and condemning the violence. We feel that the international and community support has had a large effect on the decrease in anti-Shia violence in Pakistan this month.

ShiaRightsWatch.org_February_6 ShiaRightsWatch.org_February_4



February 14th was the fourth anniversary of the uprisings in Bahrain. To commemorate the events of 2011, Bahraini Shia staged a three-day protest. The protests occurred in the largely Shia neighborhoods on the outskirts of Manama. The Bahraini security forces cracked down on these protest through tear gas, pellet guns, and arrests. Over the three day protest period, roughly 48 Shia were wounded and 20 arrested. Bahrain accounts for all of the arrests of Shia in February and most of the arrests come from that period. Violence against Shia in Bahrain comes largely from the government while the violence in other countries comes at the hands of militant groups. In addition to the events surrounding February 14th, the Bahraini government continues to imprison renowned opposition leaders and revoke the citizenship of scores of Bahraini Shia.


Although Afghanistan is not included on any of the charts it did witness a horrific event when 30 Hazara Shia were abducted while on a pilgrimage in the Zabul province. The bus was travelling on a road between Herat and Kabul when gunmen stopped the bus and ordered everyone off. The gunmen made the passengers produce documents showing that they belonged to the Hazara minority and then proceeded to release the women and children while taking the men. The fate of the Hazara men remains unknown upon the release of this report. Hazaras have been the victims of intense violence in Pakistan, especially in the town of Quetta, but this abduction reveals the possibility of an increase of anti-Shiism in Central Asia.ShiaRightsWatch.org_February_8


It would appear that the amount of deaths from bombings increased dramatically by glancing at the pie charts comparing the method of death from January to February. In reality the amount of deaths caused by other methods has decreased dramatically for February. The total amount of deaths from bombings remained about the same (294 Jan vs. 320 Feb), but the amount of people wounded from bombings increased more than twice what it was in the previous month (257 Jan vs. 596 Feb). Attacks that utilize a combination of weapons and mortars are still the second and third most killers as well as wounded. However, the injuries caused by these methods pale in comparison to the damage inflicted by bombs.

In February, the amount of Shias wounded surpassed the amount killed, and this can be attributed to terrorists’ ability to detonate bombs in highly populated areas. The trend of near parallelism between the amount of Shias wounded and the amount of Shias killed can be explained by each event usually having both deaths and injuries. The amount of injuries was 2.63 times higher than the amount of deaths for incidents that had both killed and wounded, and this can be seen on the graph by looking at the steeper slopes of the two lines.ShiaRightsWatch.org_February_10ShiaRightsWatch.org_February_9

The violence faced by Shia in the month of February shows that anti-Shiism is not receding as the year progresses. Iraq and Pakistan remain the deadliest places for Shia in the world as they account for the vast majority of the deaths. Bahrain is where the majority of government based violations occur, with their large number of arrests and citizenship revocations. Lastly, the kidnappings in Afghanistan may signal a rise in anti-Shiism in Central Asia. The protection of Shia populations needs to be a priority for each of these countries. The murder of hundreds of innocent civilians should not be become so commonplace that it receives scant attention in the news.



Bloody start to the year January 2015

Bloody start to the year

Incidents of Anti-Shiism in January 2015

The first installment of the Shia Rights Watch monthly incident reports begins on a disastrous note. With over 500 dead, almost 400 injured, and dozens arrested, Shia Muslims have systematically targeted in the month of January.



This report will analyze the data we compiled on Shia deaths, injuries, and arrests that occurred between January 1stand January 31st. The data gathered from this report came from a variety of different sources. The most well-known cases of violence against Shia were gathered from media sources such as Al-Jazeera and BBC. The picture painted by popular media sources is incomplete and did not report on dozens of incidents that occurred in Iraq. For incidents that occurred in Iraq, the report consulted the Iraq body count, an organization that tracks all violent incidents throughout the country. Four graphs and their corresponding charts have been added to this report to illustrate the severity of this phenomenon. In addition to the graphs, this report will highlight some cases of anti-Shiism that occurred in January.

Where have Shia Muslims been targets of violence?

January saw Shia Muslims systematically targeted in four countries: Syria, Bahrain, Pakistan, and Iraq. The targeting highlighted in this report are murders, injuries, and arrests. In total, there have been 539 deaths, 384 injuries, and 24 arrests.  This does not include incidents such as the revocation of citizenship which occurred in Bahrain.
The bulk of violent incidents have occurred in Iraq, which has witnessed dozens of bombings in Shia neighborhoods. As with the deaths, the bulk of injuries have come in Iraq as well. All of the arrests have occurred in Bahrain. The large number of arrests in Bahrain relative to the other countries in this report highlights the variations in the sources of violence against Shia. In Syria, Pakistan, and Iraq, violence against Shia has largely come from militant groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama (ASWJ). The next section of this report will delve into the data collected and provide explanations behind the violence the world is witnessing.


The violence by non-state actors against Shia in Iraq has dwarfed the amount of violence occurring in other countries. The 438 deaths and 235 injuries that occurred in January in Iraq would have made it the second most violent country all year last year behind Pakistan. Bombings in Shia neighborhoods in Baghdad have killed scores of people at a time. Not only do bombings in highly populated areas have high death counts, they tend to injure just as many people as they kill and leave a large amount of property damage in their aftermath.


There was only one event recorded for this country but the casualties incurred made it account for two percent of the deaths and ten percent of the injuries. A bus carrying Lebanese Shia pilgrims traveling near Damascus, Syria was the victim of a explosion that killed nine and injured 37.


There was one death and 46 injuries in this country in January. Bahrain accounted for 12 percent of the injuries and 100% of the arrests in the month. Shia in Bahrain are not facing indiscriminant violence at the hands of non-state terrorist groups like the other groups on the list, but are rather facing repression from the government. Shia in Bahrain regularly protest the Al-Khalifa regime and they are just as regularly met with violence by security forces. On January 31st, the Bahraini government revoked the citizenship of 72 Bahrainis on grounds of damaging national security. This was the largest case of citizenship revocation since the start of the Arab Uprisings in 2011. Since this event did not involve an arrest, a death, or  a physical injury it was not used for statistical purposes .

ShiaDeathCount_3 ShiaDeathCount_5


After witnessing almost 1,000 Shia deaths in 2014, this country has seen a continuation of the same type of violence as was witnessed last year. ASWJ and its affiliates have continued to carry out targeted assasinations of Shia in towns around the country. On January 7tha 15 year old by was gunned down by these militamen, and on January 31sta 70 year old man was shot and killed outside of a hotel in the city of Orangi by militants. Other than targeted assasinations, militants have also been targeting mosqueswhich can be seen in the explosions at mosques in Rawalpindi,and  Shikarpur. The explosion at Shikarpur was the deadiest event in January and will be discussed in greater detail in the next section.

Shia Deaths by DayShiaDeathCount_7

Although Iraq was by far the most violent country for Shia in January, the worst incident in the month came in Pakistan. In the city of Shikarpur, roughly 100 miles north of Karachi, a bomb exploded at a Shia mosque right after the conclusion of Friday prayers. In this incident 60 people were reported dead and 50 reported injured. Many of the people were killed by the blast but numerous others were killed and suffered injuries as a result of the roof of the mosque collapsing from the blast.
This chart exhibits how anti-Shiism is a relatively constant trend across these countries as deaths of Shia tend to hover around ten per day. Deviations from this trend sadly come when there is a mass casualty event such as the mosque bombing in Pakistan and the three large explosions in Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad.
Although the news may report incidents of terrorism as sporadic events, when one looks at the data compiled for incidents of violence and intimidation against Shia it is clear that terrorism is a daily occurrence in these countries.

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Human Rights NGO call for Nabeel Rajab’s charge to be dropped

Nabeel_Rajab19 January 2015, Human rights activist are getting attacked in different countries and many of them face false accusation from their government, Nabeel Rajab is one of those Human Rights activist who have arrested several time for defending the rights of his country “Bahrain” and accused for seeking freedom of speech and rights of citizenship he is expected to be present in the court on January 20th for his tweet.

On 19th of January, Shia Rights Watch among 58 other human rights organization have issued a statement to the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and other national and international bodies for dismiss Nabeel Rajab case and apply pressure to release all human rights activist.

Verdict Expected for Nabeel Rajab 20 January, NGOs Call for Charges to be Dropped

19 January 2015 – On 20 January, a verdict is expected in the trial of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini activist and internationally recognized human rights defender. President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and a member of Human Rights Watch’s Advisory Board, Rajab is charged with insulting public institutions via Twitter. The undersigned NGOs strongly condemn the politically motivated prosecution of and judicial attack against Nabeel Rajab and call on the Government of Bahrain to drop all charges against the peaceful human rights defender.

On 1 October 2014, Rajab presented himself to Bahrain’s General Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) upon receiving a summons for questioning, where he was arrested after hours of interrogation regarding one of histweets. Rajab had just returned to Bahrain from a months-long advocacy tour, which included appearances at the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the European Parliament in Brussels, as well as meetings with foreign ministries throughout Europe. Charged with insulting public institutions under article 216 of Bahrain’s penal code, Rajab was granted bail on 2 November 2014, but was banned from leaving the country.

Rajab has won many international awards for his human rights work, including the Ion Ratiu Democracy award, presented by the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the British Silbury prize to “facilitate his on-going humanitarian and human rights work.” In 2013, Rajab and BCHR were awarded the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize, an annual recognition of those who have devoted their lives to promote democracy and respect for human rights. Rajab was unable to attend the ceremony, as he was imprisoned in Bahrain for his activism.

The international community’s response to the current charges leveled against Rajab has been monumental in denouncing the CID and Bahraini government for their actions. Over 100 NGOs and civil society organizations, as well as members of the European Parliament, the UK Parliament and the United States congress have called for the charges against Rajab to be dropped. The United States, Norway, France and the United Nations all made public statements supporting Rajab and called on Bahrain to respect freedom of expression and free public debate.

Rajab is one of many Bahrainis who have been victimized by the government’s intensified campaign to silence dissent through judicial harassment and the improper use of judicial and police powers. On 28 December, Sheikh Ali Salman, General-Secretary of Bahrain’s largest opposition party Al-Wefaq,was arrested for his political and human rights activism. Earlier in December, human rights defender Zainab al-Khawajawas sentenced to four years in prison for insulting the king and ripping up his picture, while her sister Maryam al-Khawaja, Director of Advocacy of the Gulf Center for Human Rights,was sentenced to one year in prison forallegedly assaulting a police officer during her arrest in August 2014. These are a few of the many Bahrainis who have been wrongfully arbitrarily detained, charged, or sentenced for peacefully exercising rights protected by, inter alia, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). These including rights to freedom of expression (ICCPR and UDHR art. 19), assembly (ICCPR art. 21; UDHR art. 20), association (ICCPR art. 22; UDHR art. 20) and the right to take part in public affairs (ICCPR art. 25; UDHR art. 21).

The aforementioned organizations call on the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and other national and international bodies to:

  • Publicly call for the dismissal of the charges against human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, as well as the removal of restrictions to his international travel;
  • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to halt any further judicial harassment of Nabeel Rajab and other human rights defenders in Bahrain;
  • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to drop all charges against all charged or sentenced for exercising their internationally protected human rights;
  • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to release all political prisoners;
  • Urge the Bahraini government to repeal laws that infringe upon internationally protect rights;
  • Urge the Government of Bahrain to end reprisals against human rights defenders; and
  • Urge the Government of Bahrain to ensure that civil society organizations and human rights defenders in Bahrain may conduct their work without fear of retaliation or reprisal.


  1. Activists Organisation For Development And Human Rights
  2. American for Democracy and Human rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
  3. Africa Freedom Of Information Centre
  4. Albadeel Center For Studies And Research
  5. Alliance For Tunisia’s Women
  6. Aman Network For Rehabilitation & Defending Human Rights
  7. Asociación Por Los Derechos Civiles
  8. Bahrain 19
  9. Bahrain Press Association
  10. Bahrain Salam For Human Rights
  11. Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)
  12. Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
  13. Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR)
  14. Bytes For All, Pakistan
  15. Cairo Institute For Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  16. Cartoonists Rights Network International
  17. Center For Media Freedom & Responsibility
  18. Centre For Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia
  19. Chokri Belaid Foundation To Combat Violence
  20. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
  21. European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)
  22. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  23. European Saudi Organisation For Human Rights
  24. Freedom Forum
  25. Freedom House
  26. Gulf Center For Human Rights (GCHR)
  27. Globe International Center
  28. Initiative For Freedom Of Expression – Turkey
  29. Institut Studi Arus Informasi (ISAI)
  30. International Centre For Supporting Rights And Freedom
  31. International Press Institute (IPI)
  32. Jordanian Commission For Culture And Democracy
  33. Khiam Rehabilitation Center For Victims Of Torture
  34. Kuwait Human Right Institute
  35. Kuwait Human Right Society
  36. Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC)
  37. MADA – Palestinian Center For Development & Media Freedoms
  38. Maharat Foundation- Lebanon
  39. Media Watch , Bangladesh
  40. MENA Monitoring Group
  41. National Union Of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
  42. Nidal Tagheer Organisation For Defending Rights (Yemen)
  43. No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ – Italy)
  44. Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational And Transparty (NRPTT – Italy)
  45. Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)
  46. PEN American Center
  47. PEN International
  48. Réseau Avocats Sans Frontières
  49. Shia Right Watch
  50. Sudanese Development Imitative
  51. Syrian Nonviolence Movement
  52. The Arabic Network For Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
  53. The Independent Journalism Center (Moldova)
  54. The World Association Of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
  55. Tunisian Association For The Rehabilitation Of Prisoners
  56. Tunisian Centre For Transitional Justice
  57. Tunisian National Council For Liberties
  58. UN Ponte Per (Italy)

Condemning Terrorist Attack on French

Number: 910

Date: January 7, 2015

The Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Road Northwest,

Washington, DC 20007

We at Shia Rights Watch are deeply saddened by murderous acts of the three gunmen at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris today. The murder of the 12 people and the wounding of 11 others is an act of terror that has no place in the world we live in. Our prayers are with the people and families of those affected by this shooting.

The content of Charlie Hebdo may not be popular in religious communities but disdain need not have violent manifestations. All people must respect freedom of expression and taking the lives of innocent people is not permitted in any religion.

We at Shia Rights Watch condemn the actions taken by these terrorists. Unfortunately terrorism is something the international community has witnessed a great deal of over the past year. In fact, more Shia Muslims were killed last year in terror attacks than any other demographic group.

Just as violent attacks against Shia communities around the world have not quelled their peaceful calls for justice, the attacks committed today will not spell the end of Charlie Hebdo. We all want to live in a world safe from harm in which we can express ourselves in the greatest extent possible, and we need to honor this tragedy by making sure we live up to our expectations. We thank you for your service to the people of France and we look forward to working with you in the future.


Mustafa Akhwand

Director of Shia Rights Watch

UN Complaint