Sixth Day of Muharram 2021: Authorities Use Coronavirus as Pretext to Enforce Restrictions on Rituals, Limit Number of Gatherings to Only 30 Persons
2021-08-18 - 2:58 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On the sixth day of Muharram (1443 Hijri/August 15, 2021), government agencies continued targeting the events and manifestations of Ashura in various ways and means, this time using the Coronavirus and the medical team as a pretext to impose strict restrictions on the religious practices of the Shiite majority in the country.
The attacks on Ashura events on Sunday (August 15, 2021) included interrogating two Husseini preachers, Sheikh Abdulmohsen Mullah Atiya Al-Jamri, after he was summoned to the Muharraq police station, and Sheikh Mohammed Al-Rayash, over Ashura lectures they had delivered.
The government played the Coronavirus card again to crack down on Ashura-related events. It decided in accordance with a decision by the medical team to move to the orange stage only on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram, which means limiting the attendance in Ma'tams (mourning halls) Ma'tams (mourning halls) to only 30 people. The country is to return to the yellow phase after the 10th day, in an explicit exploitation of anti-CvirusOVID-19 measures to harass the Shiite majority.
Violations and other forms of restrictions mainly took place in Salmabad and Hamad city areas.
Video footage showed regime forces removing Ashura banners in front of citizens' homes, and photos posted on social media showed dozens of Interior Ministry vehicles in Hamad City.
The authorities summoned the Husseini committee responsible for processions of the Roundabout 17 area for interrogation in the area's police station. Video footage later showed Interior Ministry forces in civilian clothing photographing mourners in the area.
The security authorities decided to prevent the central procession from being staged, and only allow holding mourning processions in the surrounding areas of the Ma'tams. The authorities made calls with the administrations of Salmabad Ma'tams to force them not to hold their usual mourning processions and limit the activity to the ritual of beating the chests only in the surrounding areas of the Ma'tams under the pretext of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.
Members of the Interior Ministry were also seen surrounding the mourners at the Salmabad Ma'tam to prevent them from staging a mourning procession as usual, in addition to preventing mourners from outside the area from entering Salmabad. They also recorded their car plate numbers and photographed their ID cards.
The Interior Ministry called a police transport bus to be stationed at the Salmabad Ma'tam, along with the heavy deployment of armed civilian forces in the area.
The security authorities prevented Karzakan Ma'tam from staging a mourning procession and forced them to stay in the surrounding area of the Ma'tam under the pretext of combating the Coronavirus.
Interior Ministry forces set up a checkpoint near Jablat Habshi Ma'tam and conducted an inspection campaign under the pretext of confirming that procedures are being implemented to prevent Coronavirus.
Interior Ministry civilian forces were witnessed in Sanabis, Sitra, Samaheej, Juffair, Bilad Al-Qadeem, Abu Saiba and Shakhoura as part of a campaign targeting Ashura participants in these areas.