At HRC48 ADHRB at Human Rights Council raises systematic religious discrimination in Bahrain during Ashora

On 5 October, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 48 under item 9 to  raises systematic religious discrimination in Bahrain during Ashora.

Madame President,

We would like to raise our deep concerns about the systematic religious discrimination which the Shia citizens of Bahrain are facing especially during the religious season of Ashura.

The Al-Khalifa government in Bahrain have been discriminating against Shia citizens in an effort to suppress their self-determination demands. Such discrimination was obvious during the commemoration of the holy month of Moharram.

The government issued summons for and arrested many religious clerics because it considered their sermons too critical of the government or did not fall within the government talking points or agenda. Attacking and arresting individuals based on their religious beliefs is wrong and it should be condemned by this Council.

For example a leading the Shia cleric  Shaikh Zuhar Ashor has been put in solitary confinement as a punishment for insisting on practicing his faith and assisting other prisoners with their spiritual life. Several mandate holders including the Working Group on Involuntary and Enforced Disappearance and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention among others raised his case with the Bahraini government last August.

It’s clear that the systematic discrimination against the indigenous people of Bahrain is something the Alkhalifa ruling tribe been engaged in for years. Thus, we call on the Council to appoint a special rapporteur for Bahrain to monitor and report to the Council the deeply rooted human rights violations committed by the Alkhalifa ruling tribe in Bahrain.