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Monday 27th of May 2019
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Bahrain to Rebuild Demolished Shia Mosques

 Bahraini authorities said Saturday that they will rebuild recently torn down Shiite mosques, two days after US President Barack Obama criticized the demolitions in a major speech on Washington's Middle East policy.

 Obama critiqued the crackdown against pro-reform protesters by Bahrain, a close US ally in the Gulf, declaring: 'Coptic Christians must have the right to worship freely in Cairo, just as Shia must never have their mosques destroyed in Bahrain.'

 The comments on Thursday caught Bahraini authorities' off guard, as for weeks they insisted that not mosques had been demolished.

 Obama also called for an end to the security crackdown against protesters demanding political reform and greater freedoms, who went to the streets of Bahrain starting on February 14, before the demonstrations were crushed by Bahraini authorities along with neighboring Gulf states, which sent military troops to aid the regime.

 'We have insisted both publicly and privately that mass arrests and brute force are at odds with the universal rights of Bahrain's citizens, and we will - and such steps will not make legitimate calls for reform go away,' Obama said.

 'The only way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue, and you can't have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail. The government must create the conditions for dialogue, and the opposition must participate to forge a just future for all Bahrainis.'

 The statement by the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, which continued to refute mosque demolition allegations and insisted that it was only unlicensed cabins and illegal extensions to buildings on stolen lands, did not specify the number of mosques that would be rebuilt or when.

 Independent estimates by the opposition and internet activists put the number of destroyed Shiite mosques and religious centres at more then 60, out of which at least 27 are mosques.

 Most of the mosques as it appeared from YouTube videos were bulldozed by army and police.

 In at least one case, the shrine of former opposition leader and revered Shiite clergyman Sheikh Abdul Amir al-Jamri, who died in 2006, was among the structures destroyed.

 At least 30 people have been killed during government crackdowns on protesters, which included the use of live ammunition, activists say.

 Four police officers died in the clashes, according to the Interior Ministry.

 More than 400 people were arrested, and more than 1,500 were sacked from their jobs for taking part in the anti-government rallies.


source : http://abna.ir
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