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Bahrain: Authorities Targeting Shia clerics

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Bahraini authorities are targeting Shia clerics in a systematic campaign of harassment that violates their rights to freedom of assembly and speech, and to religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said today.

On August 18, 2016, a Bahraini court convicted Sheikh Ali Humaidan of “illegal gathering” and sentenced him to one year in prison for his involvement in peaceful gatherings in the village of Diraz outside the home of the spiritual leader of an opposition group, who was arbitrarily stripped of his citizenship in June. Human Rights Watch has spoken to four Shia clerics who said that authorities have charged them with illegal gathering over their involvement in the protest and another three who said they were questioned.

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