Human Rights Watch condemned in a statement the Bahraini authorities’ prevention of Shi’a worshippers from attending Friday prayers at the Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in Diraz.
Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque, which is in Diraz neighborhood, is the main site for Shi’a Friday prayers in Bahrain. HRW considered the “Bahraini authorities’ recent blocking of Shi’a worshippers from attending Friday prayers is another reminder of the discrimination the community has long suffered,” demanding Bahrain to “immediately end all forms of discrimination against its Shi’a community.”
Interviewees told Human Rights Watch that Bahraini police – including riot and traffic police -checked the identity documents of those seeking to pass through the checkpoints to Diraz neighborhood. Interviewees told Human Rights Watch that police continued to allow non-Bahrainis and residents of Diraz and nearby neighborhoods to enter the area.
“Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque is the main mosque for the Shi’a community [in Bahrain] and the primary location for Friday prayers. It is where the community discusses its suffering, needs, concerns, social and economic issues, problems in government, and oppression,” said one of the interviewees who was blocked from entering Diraz neighborhood on June 16 to attend prayers.