Muharram is the first month in the lunar Hijri calendar. Shia Muslims, and others in different parts of the world, hold ceremonies every year in the month of Muharram to mourn the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions.
Bahraini regime officials have summoned a number of clerics, including Seyed Jaber al-Shahrakani, Sheikh Mohammad Ali al-Mahfuz, Sheikh Mohammad A’ashur, and Sheikh Zoheir al-Khal for questioning, local sources disclosed on Friday.
Authorities have also arrested other preachers, such as Sheikh Menbar al-Ma’atouq and Sheikh Mohammad al-A’ajimi.
Moreover, regime forces have further engaged in blocking local residents in some areas —including the town of al-Mosalla — from putting up customary mourning flags and placards for the upcoming Ashura processions.
The development came just over two weeks after hundreds of Bahraini political prisoners went on hunger strike to protest harsh conditions at the Persian Gulf country’s notorious Jaw Prison.
Over 400 inmates started an open-ended hunger strike on August 18, joining 196 others who had begun refusing food a short while earlier.
The Manama regime has been cracking down on pro-democracy demonstrations since 2011. Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held protest rallies in Bahrain on an almost daily basis since then.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifa regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.