International panel investigates religious buildings claims

September 22, 2011

An international commission probing the events that hit Bahrain in February and March said that it has completed its investigation of demolished mosques and religious buildings.

“International engineering expert Ismail Hazem has now completed his investigation as part of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) team examining the demolition of places of worship in Bahrain since February and March 2011,” the commission said.

“An architect with extensive experience in conflict zones, Hazem was brought in by the BICI to examine the sites of destroyed or damaged mosques and religious buildings as part of the BICI mandate to investigate the events of February/March 2011 and their consequences.”

According to the commission, Ismail Hazem had visited the sites of 30 mosques in various locations, including Nuwaidrat, Hamad Town and Sitra.

“Accompanied by a member of the investigating team, Hazem met mosque leaders as well as officials from the Jaafari (Shiite) Religious Endowments Council and Ministry of Municipalities and Urban Planning. His report should be issued in the coming weeks to supplement the final BICI report which is due to be presented and issued on October 30 to the public at large,” the commission said.

Shiite leaders had complained that several places of worship had been demolished as part of a revenge campaign; however, officials insisted that the targeted places were makeshift sites built illegally and had to be removed.

The BICI, established by King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa in June, is mandated to “investigate and report on the events occurring in Bahrain in February/March 2011, and any subsequent consequences arising out of the events, and to make such recommendations as it may deem appropriate”.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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