This was one of the deadliest weeks for Shia Muslims. From August 7-14, 136 Shia Muslims were killed, 329 were injured, 2 were arrested, and 10 were abducted. The overwhelming majority of deaths and injuries came from Iraq while the majority of the arrests occurred in Bahrain.
Over the last seven days, ISIS has perpetuated some of the deadliest attacks against Shia Muslims this year. In a series of bombings and shootings against Shia civilians 133 were left dead and 314 were left injured. Over this time period, daily improvised explosive devices detonated in Shia neighborhoods in Madeen, Baghdad, Baquba, and Hawr Rajab. These attacks would lead to the loss of scores of lives. The deadliest attack of the week came on August 13th when a refrigerated truck filled with explosives detonated in the busy Jamila marketplace in Baghdad’s Sadr City district. This ISIS inspired attack in a Shia neighborhood led to the deaths of at least 68 and the injury of at least 200. Details of this event are still unfolding but Shia Rights Watch will provide details as they become available.
In Bahrain there were arrests of two prominent Shia government opposition figures. On August 8th, Sheikh Salman Maitham who is the Chairman of the Committee for Religious Freedom on the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory was arrested by security forces. He would be later charged with inciting hatred against the regime. In a separate incident, Ibrahim Sharif, the former head of the National Democratic Action Society was arrested soon after being freed from jail. After being jailed for his role in the demonstrations in 2011, he was re-arrested after giving a speech that was deemed by the state as inciting hatred. Shia Rights Watch condemns the arrest of these two figures and requests their immediate release.
On August 10th the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that there were 4 deaths and 20 injuries as a result of thousands of rockets that were launched into the Shia towns of Fuaa and Kafraya by Syrian rebels.
In Afghanistan 10 Hazara Shia were abducted in the Ghazni province as they were travelling towards the provincial capital. The Hazara community has been the focus of numerous kidnappings this year alone and this incident shows that this trend has not slowed. Shia Rights Watch continues to call for the Afghan and Pakistani governments to work to better protect Hazara Shia in their countries.