A protest is reportedly planned to take place in Al-Diraz on Wednesday, May 23. The demonstration comes amid a call from the Shi'a Ahlulbayt World Assembly for individuals and civil society groups to "voice their solidarity" against the Bahraini government. The specific time and location of the protest was not immediately announced. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected near the protest site.
The protest and abovementioned statement coincide with the first anniversary of the raids on Al-Diraz which led to the house arrest of Sheikh Isa Qassim, as well as the deaths of five people and the arrests of 286 others, on May 23, 2017. Bahraini security forces have also reportedly blockaded thousands of Shi'a residents in the Al-Diraz neighborhood since June 2016. The authorities have recently intensified their crackdown on Shi'a political parties and activists in the country, and have arrested and revoked the nationality of hundreds of Shi'a political dissidents in recent years.
Individuals in Bahrain, particularly in Al-Diraz, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.