May 20th to 27th, 2016
Targeted gunfire and improvised explosive devices (IED’s) in Shia populated areas of Baghdad has left 36 killed. Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, and holds a minority population of Shia Muslims. Historically, Baghdad has been home to chronic violence. To this day, there has been little done by officials in efforts to capture those involved and further reduce targeting of this minority in this city.
In the passing week, detainment of shia pro-democracy activist continued. On May 24, Shaikh Mohammad al-Mansi, a prominent shia scholar was sentenced to one year in prison after being held in detainment for over a month for leading mass prayers without state licensure. Al-Mansi was a highly recognized cleric who called for democracy and publicly denounced the demolition of tens of Shia mosques by Bahraini officials. Days after al-Mansi’s sentencing, 14 other shia individuals were detained sentenced three to 15 years in prison for pro-democracy efforts. The numerous arrests and exaggerated sentences are further examples of the continuing targeting of Shia muslims in the Kingdom of Bahrain.