Bahraini authorities charged 169 people suspected of being members of the "Bahraini Hezbollah" on Tuesday, September 25. A further crackdown on suspected militants is to be expected in Bahrain in the near-term. Protests and demonstrations denouncing the charges are possible in the coming days.
Prosecutors have also claimed that they have recently arrested 111 people in security operations off the coast of Saudi Arabia over weapons, property damage, and attempted murder charges, among others. These arrests come as Bahraini 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.
Shi'a Muslims in Bahrain make up a majority of the population but are governed by a Sunni royal family and a Sunni government, which Shi'as accuse of marginalizing their community. The Bahraini government regularly blames the Shi'a community for destabilizing the country with the support of Iran. Protests often take place in locations across Bahrain on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and can result in violent clashes.
Individuals present in Bahrain are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence and to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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