Bahraini forces have reportedly arrested a female social media activist over participation in and live coverage of Arba’een, an annual event that marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of Shia Muslims.
According to a report by the Iraqi al-Ghadeer TV television network, the activist, identified as Sheikha al-Majid, was detained following her return from the holy Iraqi city of Karbala to the Bahraini capital of Manama.
She was charged with “sectarianism” due to broadcasting live images while standing in the vicinity of the shrine of Imam Hussein (AS), the report added.
Al-Ghadeer TV noted that Bahraini opposition groups and human rights organizations have condemned Majid’s arrest and demanded her immediate release.
Meanwhile, Karim Alivi al-Mohammadavi, a member of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Iraqi Parliament, denounced Majid’s arrest as a direct assault by Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah dynasty on Shia Muslims
Mohammadavi said the move conveys the message that the Manama regime does not seek civil peace and spares no effort to create internal chaos and division in any way.
The Iraqi legislator slammed the move as “irresponsible,” calling upon Bahraini authorities to reconsider the Shia activist’s detention and put an end to all heavy-handed measures against members of the majority religious community.
Mohammadavi noted that Iraqi parliamentarians would ask the Foreign Ministry to summon the Bahraini ambassador to Baghdad and submit a protest note to him in case the Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its crackdown on Shias.
He finally urged the Iraqi government to apply necessary pressure for the release of the Bahraini activist and to obtain firm assurances that such actions would not be repeated again.