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Nabeel Rajab Arrested Again

rajabNabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights activist, was arrested again a few hours ago in Bahrain. He will face Public Prosecution tomorrow. Rajab has been arrested several times and tortured in Bahraini jail many times.

His supporters created #FreeNabeel hashtag campaign to advocate for his rights.

Summary of Briefing “Understanding the ISIS Threat”

Shia_Rights_Watch_Event2014Shia Rights Watch and Muslim Public Affairs Council successfully had their briefing on ISIS and its threat on the Capitol Hill on Monday the 29th. 

The briefing focused on U.S policy to degrade and defeat ISIS including the recent airstrikes in Syria. Also the panelist addressed the issue of Americans and Europeans traveling aboard to join ISIS. The second panel focused on the testimonials from three different targeted populations in Iraq. Representatives from Shia Muslims, Iraqi Ezidis and Christians had an opportunity to share their experience and pain with audience.

Number of congressman’s staffers, university professors, human rights activist and religious leaders were among audience. 

 Panel One:

Jomana Qaddour addressed the improvements of ISIS in Syria, 

Haris Tarin addressed the underlying problems that attracts youth to ISIS such as “Jihadi Cool” effect, mental health and restoring dignity,

Panel Two:

Shia_Rights_Watch_Event2014_3Dakhil Shammo Elias, representative of Iraqi Ezidi community shared the status of his community and also explained historical oppression of Ezidi community in Iraq,

Martin Manna, representative of Iraqi Chaldean community talked about displacement of Christian population in Iraq, and

Kadhim Al-Waeli, the representative of Iraqi Shia explained Shia targeted killings and human rights violations by ISIS in this country.

For both Christian and Ezidi leaders it was the first time that two Muslim NGOs have invited them to express their pain along with others. SRW believes all minorities and impacted communities must come together in order to defeat extremists. This organization is thank full to MPAC for their co-sponsorship and hopes to see more NGOs join the coalitions against terrorists.

Violence Peaks as the Day of Arafa Approaches

Violence peaks in Iraq as the day of Arafa (عرفة) gets closer. Three cars exploded in Shia area of Baghdad. The explosions killed 13 and wounded 39 according to local hospital.

Arafa is a day when Shia Muslims travel to Karbala, Iraq to visit shrines. Thousands of Shia are expected to visit Karbla on Saturday. Although ISIS and other anti-Shia groups have tried to target the shrine sin Iraq, the Iraqi civilians have protected their religious sites.

SRW urges Iraqi forces to protect pilgrims who travel to this country on especial occasions. So far many Shia pilgrims have been killed while visiting this country

Understanding the ISIS Threat


Understanding the ISIS Threat

Monday, September 29, 2014   

Cannon Caucus Room: 304 Cannon House Office Building

12:30 PM to 2:30 PM

For RSVP Click Here

How is ISIS impacting policy and living circumstances in Iraq and Syria? A conference cosponsored by SRW and MPAC will explore this important question. This briefing will focus on U.S. policy to degrade and defeat ISIS including the recent air strikes in Syria targeting ISIS, and addressing the issue of Americans traveling abroad to fight with terrorist groups. The briefing will also focus on the persecuted communities targeted by ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. 

Two panels’ discussions will focus on policy and on-ground experiences of Iraqi targeted populations. Well known policy experts and researchers are gathered to share their perspectives about the impact of ISIS in Middle East. Also native Iraqi Shia, Christian and Ezidi will share their experiences as members of targeted population by ISIS.  

Panel One:  Assessing U.S. Policy

  •         Jomana Qaddour:  Leader  of  Caerus’ research and analysis initiatives focusing on the Middle East and Northern Africa
  •         William McCants:  Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of its Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
  •         Imam Mohamed Magid: Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)

Panel Two: Testimonies from Persecuted Communities 

  •         Dakhil Shammo Elias:  Director of the American Ezidi Center.Ezidi journalist, writer and editor and host in Voice of America TV and radio programs.
  •         Martin Manna:  The President of The Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and the Chaldean Community Foundation and one of the founders and publishers of The Chaldean News. Martin is a Director and helps coordinate the affairs of the Nineveh Council of America, an advocacy group for Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities.
  •         Kadhim Al-Waeli: Political Activist and social media Analyst.

Letter to President Barack Obama

No: 902

Date: September 19, 2014


The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

President Barack Obama,

We at Shia Rights Watch write this letter to you to express our dismay at the violence against Shia populations in South-West Asia. Shia communities in Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria are in fear because of brutal attacks from terrorist groups on the basis of their religious affiliation.

Shia Rights Watch represents the numerous and diverse human rights concerns of the Shia population here in the United States which numbers between 200,000 and 400,000 people as well as the concerns of Shia abroad.

In Pakistan, attacks from terrorist groups such as Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jammat (ASWJ), which is affiliated with the Taliban, have killed dozens of innocent Pakistani Shia in Karachi. Our figures show that close to 500 Shia have been killed in Pakistan this year.

In Iraq, ISIS has carried out a systematic murder campaign against Shia populations throughout the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, and Najaf. Suicide bombings and beheadings have enhanced the fear of Shia civilians in the country. A car bomb near the Al-Mubarak mosque in the Karradah area of Baghdad which is predominately Shia killed 8 people and injured 18 others. The death toll for Shia in this country is close to 8,000 for 2014.

What the world has witnessed in 2014 against Shia populations around the world has not been a culmination of isolated events, but rather the violent manifestation of anti-Shia sentiment which has been intensifying in recent years.

The Shia communities of the United States and abroad urge you to stand up for the religious freedom of Shia Muslims through two main actions. First we urge you to work with the U.S. Department of State to add Pakistan to the list of countries of Particular Concern for religious freedom. Lastly we urge you to voice your support for a congressional resolution supporting the protection of the religious freedom of Shia Muslims throughout South-West Asia.


Alan Williams

Director of Legislative Affairs

Shia Rights Watch

Five Explosions in Shia area of Baghdad

Pressure and threat on Shia Iraqi increases as US and France carry out airstrikes on ISIS. More than five explosions in Shia populated areas of Baghdad killed 40 and wounded more than 50 today.

A series of car bombings targeting a Shia mosque and markets in the Iraqi capital killed at least 20 people on Friday.

In the day’s deadliest attack, a parked explosives-packed car detonated near the al-Mubarak mosque in central Baghdad’s mostly Shia district of Karradah, killing eight people and wounding 18 others.

Cars later exploded in two outdoor markets, one in the Shia suburb of Nahrawan and the other in the Shia district of Bayaa. The attacks together killed nine people and wounded 23, according to police.

Just south of Baghdad, yet another car bomb went off on a parking lot in Mahmoudiyah town, killing three and wounding 10, said police.

The attacks came a day after Baghdad Security official reported to IraqiNews.com “Mortar shells hit a security headquarter in Kadhimiya city of northern Baghdad on Thursday evening.”

The source said to IraqiNews.com “The mortar shells hit a security headquarter in Kadhimiya city without identifying the casualties.”

On the same day a car bomb exploded near A’ema Bridge that caused 11 deaths and injuries.

Although many blame ISIS for the explosions, they are not new to Shia communities. Shia of Iraq have always been attacked by anti-Shia groups and the presence of ISIS only increased the numbers.

Mariam Al Khawaja Released

maryanToday, Bahrain’s high criminal court ordered the release of Mariam Al Khawaja. The interior ministry stated, “In accordance with an order from the high criminal court, Mariam Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja was released dependent on a guarantee of her place of residence,” she is also banned from exiting Bahrain. Mariam was arrested on August 30th from the International Airport. She was entering Bahrain in order to visit his imprisoned father.

Mariam holds Danish passport, yet the government of Denmark has not protected her against the discriminations she is facing in Bahrain.

SRW Joins 155 Civil Society Organizations in Calling for Maryam al-Khawaja’s Release

18 SEPTEMBER 2014 – Washington, DC – Shia Rights Watch joined more than 150 civil society organizations from around the world in calling on the King of Bahrain to immediately release prominent human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja. Please continue reading for the full text of the letter or click here for a PDF.

18 September 2014
HM Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain

Dear King Hamad,

We, the undersigned 155 civil society organisations based in over 60 countries write to you united in our condemnation of the politically motivated arrest of human rights defender and co-director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Maryam Al-Khawaja at Manama airport on 30 August 2014. We urge that Maryam is immediately and unconditionally released.

We believe that Maryam Al-Khawaja is being persecuted for exercising her legitimate rights to freedom of expression and association in the defence of fundamental freedoms including her co-operation with international institutions and her important role in documenting human rights violations in Bahrain. We stand in solidarity with Maryam and all other human rights defenders wrongly imprisoned by your government for their work and beliefs.

We remind you that the harassment, intimidation or stigmatization of a human rights defender, including arrest, detention, trial or imprisonment for reasons of the opinions they may hold, constitute a serious violation of Bahrain’s obligations under international law.

We remain concerned that since the pro-democracy protests intensified in February 2011 your government has deliberately subverted democratic freedoms using a combination of legal and extra-legal measures involving politically motivated prosecutions, brutal crackdowns on protests and silencing expressions of dissent in the print and online media. Many have raised the concern about the arbitrary detention of hundreds of pro-democracy activists and their being subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention centers across Bahrain.

At the UN Human Rights Council, during Bahrain’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2012 your government agreed to protect human rights defenders and allow them to conduct their work without hindrance, intimidation or harassment. On 5 September 2014, a group of United Nations independent human rights experts also demanded Maryam Al-Khawaja’s release, and urged you to follow through on your commitments made during the UPR to end the persecution of all human rights defenders in Bahrain. We support Maryam’s courage and strength for advocating for democratic change.


1. African Life Center – USA
2. African Women’s Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh) – Democratic Republic of the Congo
3. Aithria Agro-Environmental Research and Action Team – Greece
4. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) – Bangladesh
5. Aman Network for Rehabilitation & Defending Human Rights – United Kingdom
6. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) – USA
7. Andalus institute for tolerance & Anti-violence studies – Egypt
8. Arab Network for Democratic Elections – Lebanon
9. Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) – Lebanon
10. Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) – Egypt
11. ARTICLE 19 – UK
12. Asian Human Rights Commission – Hong Kong
13. Asian Press Institute – Sri Lanka
14. Association Dea Dia from Serbia – Serbia
15. Association for Progressive Communications – South Africa
16. Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) -Canada
17. Association Transparence et Développement (ATED) – Mauritania
18. Avocats Sans Frontières Network – France
19. Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) – Bahrain
20. Bahrain Human Rights Observatory (BHRO) – Bahrain
21. Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) – United Kingdom
22. Bahrain Rehabilitation & Anti Violence Organization (BRAVO) – Bahrain
23. Bahrain Salam for Human Rights – United Kingdom
24. Baidarie Pakistan – Pakistan
25. Belgrade Center for Human Rights – Serbia
26. Bishkek Feminist Collective SQ – Krygzistan
27. Building More Future Opportunities and Capacities (BMFOCA) – Nigeria
28. Burundi Child Rights Coalition (BCRC)– Burundi
29. Bytes for All – Pakistan
30. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) – Egypt
31. Campaign Against Ignorance & Illiteracy (CAII) – Nigeria
32. Cambodia Center for Human Rights (CCHR) – Cambodia
33. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) – Canada
34. Center for Peace Education – USA
35. Center for National and International Studies (CNIS) – Azerbaijan
36. Center International Training for Human Rights and Development – Democratic Republic of the Congo
37. Center of studies on Justice and Resolution of 1325 – Democratic Republic of the Congo
38. Charity and Security Network – USA
39. Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea – United Kingdom
40. Civic Initiatives – Serbia
41. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation – South Africa3
42. Civil Rights Defenders – Sweden
43. Coalition pour le Development et la Rehabiniltation Social (CODR UBUNTU) – Burundi
44. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) – South Sudan
45. Concertation Nationale de la Société Civile du Togo (CNSC Togo) – Togo
46. Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE) – Colombia
47. Counseling Center for Transgender People Association – Turkey
48. Danish PEN – Denmark
49. Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) – Philippines
50. Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan
51. Diverse Voices and Action for Equality – Fiji
52. East and Horn of African Human Rights Defenders Project – Uganda
53. Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms – Egypt
54. Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) – Egypt
55. Elma7rosa Network for Advocacy Media& Arts – Egypt
56. English PEN – UK
57. Ethiopian Human Rights Project – Ethiopia
58. European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR) – Switzerland
59. European Women’s Lobby – Belgium
60. European Saudi Organizations for Human Rights – Germany
61. Federation of African Muslim Women in America (FAMWA) – USA
62. Families of Desaparecidos for Justice – Philippines
63. Foundation of The Victims Of Abduction And Forced Disappearance (FVAFD) – Egypt
64. Fontaine-ISOKO for Good Governance and Integrated Development- Burundi
65. Freedom International – Ghana
66. FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, France
67. Freedom House – USA
68. Freddom Now – USA
69. Frontline Defenders – Ireland
70. Ghanaian Centre of PEN International – Ghana
71. Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) –USA
72. Groupe des Experts Nationaux – Madagascar
73. Gulf Civil Society Association Forum – Kuwait
74. Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) – Lebanon
75. Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly – Turkey
76. Human Rights Center “Viasna” – Belarus
77. Human Rights Concern Eritrea – United Kingdom
78. Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS) – Netherlands
79. International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – USA
80. International Centre for supporting Rights and Freedoms (ICSRF) – Egypt
81. International Commission of Jurists – Switzerland
82. International Pen, San Miguel Chapter – Mexico
83. International Service for Human Rights – Switzerland
84. International Solidarity Network Women Living Under Muslim Laws – USA
85. International Youth Human Rights Movement – Russia
86. Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) – UK
87. Lualua Centre for Human Rights(LCHR) – Lebanon
88. Justice for Iran (JFI) – United Kingdom
89. KAOS GL – Turkey
90. Karapatan Alliance – Philippines
91. Khiam Rehabilitation Center For Victims of Torture – Lebanon
92. Kitgum Women Peace Initiative (KIWEPI) – Uganda4
93. Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) – Serbia
94. Ligue des Droits de la personne dans la région des Grands Lacs (LDGL) – Democratic Republic of Congo
95. Ligue Algerienne Pour la Defense des Droits de l (LADDH) – Algeria
96. Maharat Foundation – Lebanon
97. Martin Ennals Foundation – Switzerland
98. MENA Monitoring Group – Tunisia
99. Middle East Democracy (POMED) – USA
100. Mpalabanda – Associacao Civica de Cabinda – Angola
101. Movimiento Amplio de Mujeres de Puerto Rico – USA
102. Monitoring of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia
103. Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum – Sri Lanka
104. Nasra for Feminist Studies – Egypt
105. New Bakkah Foundation – Switzerland
106. National Lawyers Guild – USA
107. National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms – Yemen
108. National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) – Somalia
109. No Peace Without Justice – Italy
110. World Organisation Against Torture, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders – Switzerland
111. Pacific Feminist SRHR Coalition – Australia
112. Palestinian Conflict Resolution / Transformation Center – Palestine
113. PEN Center – Nicaragua
114. PEN American Center – USA
115. PEN International – USA
116. PEN International Women Writers Committee – Egypt
117. Policy Center – Serbia
118. Pusat Komas – Malaysia
119. Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) – France
120. Réseau des Défenseurs des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale (REDHAC) – Cameroon
121. Right Defenders Lawyers & Consultants (RDLC) – Pakistan
122. Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association – Turkey
123. Shia Rights Watch – USA
124. Social And Human Development Consultative Groups (SAHDCG) – Sudan
125. South African Centre of PEN International –South Africa
126. Synergie des Femmes pour les Victimes de Violences Sexuelle – Democratic Republic of the Congo
127. Secularism Is a Women’s Issue – UK
128. Society of Former Political Prisoners Against Arrest and Detention in the Philippines – Philippines
129. South Sudan Law Society (SSLS) – South Sudan
130. Synergie des Associations Feminines du Congo – Democratic Republic of the Congo
131. Swiss Italian PEN – Switzerland
132. Tanzania Human rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) – Tanzania
133. Teso Women Peace Activists (TEWPA) – Uganda
134. The Training Nest – Sri Lanka
135. Three Cities Foundation – Malta
136. Trans-der – Turkey
137. Transparency International – Bangladesh
138. Ucan Supurge Women’s Association – Turkey
139. Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) – Zambia
140. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights – USA
141. Un Ponte Per- Italy5
142. Union Nacional de Instituciones para el trabajo de accion Socilal – Bolivia
143. Vivarta – UK
144. West African Human Rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN) – Togo
145. Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) – Liberia
146. Women Peace Initiatives-Uganda (WOPI-U) – Uganda
147. Women and Allies Peace Builders Network – Burundi
148. Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) – Philippines
149. Women’s Resource Center – Pakistan
150. Women’s Solidarity Fund – UK
151. World Movement for Democracy – USA
152. Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) – Zambia
153. Zeugmadi LGBT- Turkey
154. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum – Zimbabwe
155. 1325 Policy Group – Sweden

UN Cuts Aid to Syrians

Today, United Nations announced it will cut its aid to Syrians by 40% starting October 2014. The humanitarian organization stated the cut is due to lack of funding that estimates about $56 million. So far four million Syrians are receiving food supplies from this NGO. UN asks governments to increase their donations in order to prevent such cut.

More than 100,000 Syrian have been killed and about 3 million have fled to neighboring countries due to unrest in Syria. As many as 25% of Syrian children have lost their caretakers and rely on single mothers for their needs. As many as 150,000 children are born among refugees 77% of which have no registered identification. Syrian children and families who have no safe shelter, no access to school and lost their loved ones now face food cut. The future of such families and children is unpredictable as the world abandoned Syria and Syrian for political reason.

Shia News Wire_#7

September 17, 2014

ISIS Demands Capital of Shia and Christian in Mosul

ISIS announced all businessmen in Mosul must turn in any properties and capital that belongs to Shia and Christians immediately. Local Sunni businessmen reported they have been threatened that their found and capital will be seized if they refuse to cooperate with ISIS in collecting Shia and Christin businessmen properties.

Shia and Christian residence of Mosul fled the city after it was attacked by ISIS. The management of Shia shrines in Najaf and Karbala dedicated shelters for those who fled Mosul.

Shia Killings in Pakistan Continues

Haider Ali was ambushed near a market in Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa Province on Wednesday September 17th. Latter on the same day his body was found as he was shot to death.

on the 16th a retired Shia professor, Anees Anwar, was killed near Saifee College in district central of Karachi. Professor Anwar was on way to his home when a motor cycle rider opened fire upon him in Block G North Nazimabad.

Former Member of Kuwait Parliament Khalid Al Shatti, Arrested

According to Shia Rights Watch sources in Kuwait, on Sunday September 7, 2014, 6:00 PM, Kuwait airport security forces arrested the former member of Kuwait parliament and Lawyer Khalid Al Shatti.

He was then transferred to the Criminal department and from there he has been transferred to public prosecution for further investigation.

Khalid Al Shatti is known for his work toward bringing criminals to justice and free speech against injustice in Kuwait. He opposes the idea of sectarianism which leads to a collapsed country. He is against extremism and tries to prevent the Wahhabi ideology in becoming a threat in his country Kuwait.

UN Complaint