Bahrain’s interior ministry has introduced new restrictions against Shia processions as the lunar month of Muharram approaches.
According to the Manama Post daily, the ministry, among other things, has banned installing any black flags in places other than Husseiniyas (Shia religious centers).
It has also warned against distributing placards containing political themes. Muharram, the first month in the lunar Hijri calendar, will begin on September 21.
The day of Ashura, the anniversary of martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his faithful companions in the Battle of Karbala in the year 680 AD, falls in Muharram. During this month, Shia Muslims around the world hold processions to mourn the sad occasion.
Bahrainhas recently stepped up crackdown on critics in part by barring two main political groups, revoking the citizenship of the spiritual leader of the Shia community, Sheikh Isa Qassim, and jailing rights activists.