Is Interior Minister Wise Enough to Stop Sectarian Persecution?

2022-08-04 - 7:15 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain's Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa appeared as if he was wise and a sponsor of freedoms before Ashura, stressing that Bahrain is a country of tolerance and that security guarantees the commemoration of the occasion and the safety of mourners. 

However, the actions of the security services on the ground do not reflect the minister's wise facade, as oppression has been ongoing for more than 10 years in dealing with the Shiite sect and participants in Muharram events and mourning processions, in addition to Ashura manifestations.

Not only that, the sectarian persecution inmates have been subjected to since 2011 confirms that security practices against Shiite detainees are systematic, otherwise they would not have been repeated every year.

It is not acceptable that persecution continues to take place even with the change of the director of the so-called reform and rehabilitation or prison directors. 

One of the detainees confirmed in a recent audio message that Shiite prisoners are being harassed for practicing their religious rituals in Building 7 of Jaw Central Prison.

"We are being subjected to a siege and targeted by prison director Hisham Al-Zayani, [security officer] Ahmed Al-Amadi and [building officer] Badr Al-Ruwai by preventing us from practicing our religious rituals," political prisoner Hassan Mohammed Hassan said in his recorded message.

Can the Minister of the Interior say that he is not aware of the sectarian persecution practiced against detainees? Or does he think that the words he said before Ashura could whitewash his image or that of his officers.

The minister is mistaken if he thinks that the reviews can cover the reality of sectarian violations practiced by his security services inside and outside prisons, because the follies committed by his security services are too great to be covered by his statements. 

Doesn't the minister know that his officers are mobilizing battalions inside the prison and threatening prisoners with beatings and dragging if they insist on commemorating Ashura rituals.

Human rights activist Yousif Al-Muhafda reported that "a security squad led by Officer (Ahmed) Al-Hammadi was mobilized in front of Building 7, where detainees were prevented from exercising their religious freedoms."

Al-Muhafda says there are "fears that they will be beaten as has happened repeatedly in recent years," calling on "officials to act wisely this month and on this sacred occasion."

Al-Muhafda has sent its message to officials to act wisely, but who is the official who actually has wisdom in this sectarian security apparatus? 

Does Rashid bin Abdullah really have the wisdom to manage the security services and supervise law enforcement operations? The minister has failed in his mission since his appointment nearly 20 years ago, but there is no way to change him as long as the tribal Sheikh is satisfied with his performance.

Arabic Version