Bahrain: Arrest of Shiite Cleric Sheikh Isa Al-Moamen over Friday Sermon since 06/08/2016

The Security authorities arrested Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Al-Moamen after he received a notice to appear for investigation in Samaheej police station on Saturday (August 6, 2016) morning.

After he arrived to the police station, the authorities did not allow his lawyer to contact him. Al-Moamen was interrogated and the police decided to suspend him to present him to the prosecution the following day. His family couldn’t know the charges raised against him until the prosecution issued a statement the next day.
On Sunday (August 7, 2016), Al-Moamen was transferred to the prosecution. After 8 hours of waiting, the prosecution commenced its interrogation with Al-Moamen in the presence of his lawyer. The prosecution charged Al-Moamen with inciting hatred against the constitutional regime and remanded him for a week pending investigation over a Friday sermon he delivered in Al-Kheif Mosque in Al-Dair village.
One hour after the interrogation, Al-Moamen called his family and told them that the authorities concluded their interrogation and finished the measures to transfer him to the Dry Dock Prison to put him in the pre-detention center. The authorities only allowed him to call his family 3 days later.
His family reported that it received a phone call from Al-Moamen on Wednesday (August 10, 2016) in which he told them that he is in good health.
Al-Moamen’s lawyer submitted a request to the prosecution on Tuesday (August 9, 2016) to release him for medical reasons after he presented a report proving that Al-Moamen suffers from disc in his neck and back. The prosecution, however, did not respond until today (August 15, 2016).
On Thursday (August 11, 2016), Al-Moamen’s lawyer were told that the prosecution referred the case to the court and set August 17 as a date for the Sheikh’s first hearing session.
On Wednesday (August 10), the Bahraini human rights activist Fatima Al-Halwachi said that she visited her father in the Dry Dock Prison and that he told her that Sheikh Isa Al-Moamen is in the same ward with him (ward number 1). However, the police prevented Al-Halwachi from talking to Al-Moamen, the thing that raises fear of putting Al-Moamen in isolation from the other detainees.
Additional Information:
Isa Al-Moamen is a Shiite cleric. He was born in 1957. He lives in Al-Dair in Al-Muharraq governorate; a Shiite village near the international report.
Al-Moamen left Bahrain in 1984 for religious studies in Iran. Sheikh Al-Moamen, his wife and sons as well were added to the entry-ban list. They were not allowed to return to their hometown until 2011 (they had previous attempts, but the airport’s authorities prevented them). Al-Moamen returned to Bahrain along with his wife and 5 kids after a general pardon issued by the Prince Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa (The King).
After returning to Bahrain, Al-Moamen joined Al-Tawiya society- a Shiite religious society dissolved in June 2016. He was also one of the board of directors members of the Ulama Islamic Council (dissolved in 2014); the most supreme religious institution for the Shia sect in Bahrain.

Below is the sermon Sheikh Al-Moamen delivered in August 5 and upon which he is charged:
I will talk about two points
Lately, and particularly within about 40 days, the authorities escalated its campaign against the citizens and the oppression increased day after another.
The authorities are clamping down on people. Number of prisoners and detainees is largely increasing. Prisons are not embracing the large number of prisoners which made the government build new prisons.
What is the aim behind this escalation?
We believe that the authorities aim at:
First: intimidating people so that they fear to oppose the authorities’ policies, criticize them or even reveal the corruption found in their institutions.
Second: Insulting the citizens and killing their dignity.
Third: Suppressing the people to make them loyal slaves to the authorities and make them do whatever they are asked.
Fourth: Stopping the popular activism and putting an end to the demanding movement as well as silencing any voice calling for legitimate national rights.
Have the authorities succeeded in achieving these aims?
Of course not. They did not achieve any of the aims.
Despite the severity and the violations practiced by the authorities against the people and despite the crackdown on the people and the dozens of martyrs and injured and thousands of prisoners, the people are still steadfast, demanding their rights. The people are still proceeding in their movement and are ready to dearly sacrifice to achieve their dignity, freedom and legitimate demands.
The other point:
The arrest of head of Ulama Islamic Council, Sayyed Majeed Al-Mashaal
The authorities arrested the head of the most supreme Shiite scholar institution in the country, Sayyed Majeed Al-Mashaal, which proves the sectarian targeting followed by the authorities.
I would like to briefly talk about this noble man. I befriended Al-Mashaal since the studying days in Qum Seminary (Hawza) and I got to know him well after we returned to Bahrain. I found him a faithful and worshiping man. He was persistent in his scholar, social, cultural and religious roles.
He reached high ranks in his religious studies and was very active in his social activism.
In the terms of guiding, Al-Mashaal has practiced his role since the studying days. He used to go to different areas in Iran to practice his guiding and counseling role. He even traveled outside Iran for this aim. When he returned to Bahrain, he intensified his counseling role through mosques and took part in several cultural activism like seminars, lectures, Islamic occasions and others.
When he became the head of the Ulama Islamic council, I was with him in the administration for many years. I found him working enthusiastically and tirelessly. Al-Mashaal was a very tolerant person.
We must mention here a very important trait of Sayyed Al-Mashaal; he fears Alla (The God). This trait made him stronger and braver as he acquired braveness that made him confront the challenges. Everyone saw him talking in front of Sheikh Isa Qassim’s house without caring about the consequences of his speech. He remained there for almost 30 days, although he has a family and kids. However, he insisted on remaining next to Sheikh Qassim to defend him, to reveal the oppression of the people to the whole world and to motivate Bahrainis.
Al-Mashaal stayed in front of Sheikh Qassim’s house for a whole month, until security authorities raided Al-Mashaal’s home and arrested him. The authorities thought that they will put an end to the voice of freedom by the arrest of Al-Mashaal. They are totally wrong because a thousand Al-Mashaal will undoubtedly appear after the Sayyed since this country only gives birth to heroes and great people.
We strongly condemn the authorities’ practices and call for the release of Al-Mashaal and all the oppressed prisoners who are victims of the free speech and opinion. We ask the almighty God to release our prisoners, return our migrants and emigrants and change our lives and conditions to the best. All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
The sermon’s link:

The Public Prosecution’s statement regarding Al-Moamen’s suspension:
Chief of Muharraq Governorate Prosecution, Abdulla Al-Dossary, said that the Muharraq Police Directorate had received a report indicating that an imam had defamed the constitutional regime in kingdom while delivering the Friday sermon.
The Public Prosecution launched an immediate inquiry into the incident, questioned the suspect, in the presence of his defence lawyers, and confronted him with the content of the sermon he had delivered. It then remanded him in custody for seven days pending further investigations, and charged him with inciting hatred against the constitutional regime in kingdom, Al-Dossary said. Investigations are still ongoing.
Link of the English statement:

Aug.11.2016: The family took an appointment to see Sheikh Isa Almoamen on Sunday, Aug14th.

Aug.13.2016: Sheikh Isa Almoamen made a phone call to his family, he talled them that he is in a good health, but the other shia clerics are been hold in a different building in the Dry Dock Prison.

Aug.14.2016: The family went to the Dry Dock to meet Sheikh Almoamen, but the prison guards told them that he had been transferred to the court for his session, the session supposes to be on Aug 17th, the family contact the lawyer, and he assured them that Sheikh Al-Moamen’s session on the 17th, and nobody bring him to the court. The prison guards gave the family a new appointment for the next day Aug 15th.
Aug.15.2016: the family met with sheikh Al moamen for the first time, the interview was monitored by the authorities, he told them that he is ok, but he complained about not allowing him to make a regular phone calls to the family like other prisoners (3 calls in a week). After aprx. 25 Min, the guards told them that their times is up. The family take another appointment on Aug 23rd.