Bahrain’s police have arrested 15 anti-regime activists for allegedly trying to “cause chaos” during mourning ceremonies held by Shia Muslims that culminated last Thursday.
The 15 people were arrested for what Bahrain’s police said “indulging in abusive activities to cause chaos” over the 10 days of Ashura.
The police statement, which was issued late Tuesday, gave no further details of the alleged offences during the commemorations.
Ashura is the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram, which coincides with the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the third Shia Imam.
The martyrdom anniversary is commemorated for a 10-day period, beginning on the first day of the month. The mourning rituals peak on the 10th day, traditionally known as Ashura, when the Imam and 72 of his companions were martyred at the hands of the despot to whom they had refused to pledge allegiance.
According to photographs of the detainees released by the police, all of them are apparently young.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah 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.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bahrain’s attorney general said officials have charged 169 anti-regime protesters with terrorism offenses.