Shia Muslims have continued to be persecuted in the first week of August, through two car bombs in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and a series of arrests made on the primarily Shia island of Bahrain. Through these two incidents it is evident that Shia Muslims still face repression from aggressors. This minority group continues to live under threat of radical extremists pushing for their demise.
At least 47 illegally detained in Bahrain after Sitra Bombing
During the week of July 27th to August 2nd, Bahraini security forces have arbitrarily detained 47 Shia Muslims without arrest warrants. These detentions were made following a bomb explosion in Sitra that left two Bahraini policemen dead and six wounded, this is the deadliest attack in Bahrain in recent months. It was reported that 28 were arrested on the small island of Sitra and that 8 have already been released including two children. Bahraini security forces were reported to have executed 36 house raids across three villages. Bahrain has recently cracked down on civilians peacefully protesting the government.
Pair of car bombings in Shia neighborhood of Baghdad kill 10 and wound 23
Two separate car bombs detonated in primarily Shia residential neighborhoods located in Baghdad, Iraq on August 5th 2015. The first bomb exploded on a crowded street in the northeastern district of Sadr City, the attack left 6 people dead and 12 wounded. The second explosion happened in the northern al-Husseiniya district that killed 4 while leaving 11 wounded. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the blasts but this follows a trend of increased attacks by the terrorist organization ISIS.
Shia Rights Watch releases Responsible Parties report
Shia Rights Watch recently released a report entitled ‘Who is Responsible?’ drawing attention to the persecution of Shia Muslims by governmental and non-governmental actors. The report reveals that a large portion of attacks against Shia were perpetrated by terrorist organizations such as al-Nursa Front, the Taliban, and ISIS. State actors such as the Bahraini security forces have also participated in anti-Shia behavior through the arbitrary incarcerations of peaceful protesters. Saudi authorities have also been accused of actions that resulted in the death and illegal detainment of Shia. To read more about these cases go to SRW’s full report on those responsible for 2015 violations here.