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Free jailed teacher unionists in Bahrain
On March 12 2012 members of the Peace Environment and International Issues Special Interest Group resolved to publicise to the broader membership a motion to be debated on April 4 in the NSW Legislative Council.
The motion is to be moved by David Shoebridge Greens MLC and is to protest the heavy handed suppression of pro democracy demonstrators in Bahrain. Of special interest to Federation members is the summary detention by military court of Mahdi Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, President of the Bahraini Teachers Association. Mr Abu Dheeb has been imprisoned for 10 years for calling for strikes in support of pro-democracy protests last year.
Jalila al Salman another leader of the Bahraini Teachers Association was also arrested and gaoled for her part in organising a strike calling for government reform. She was sentenced to three years in prison and both have reported abuse, torture and mistreatment. Amnesty International considers them both to be prisoners of conscience. Their appeals are being heard in March.
While the protests in Egypt, Syria, Libya and elsewhere have received a fair amount of coverage not much is known about the state of rebels in Bahrain. David Shoebridge hopes to shine a light on this situation and is holding a press conference on April 4 after debate on the motion condemning the repressive measures targeting members of the Bahraini community like academics and doctors. The press conference will be attended by members of the Bahraini community in Australia who will report on human rights abuses.
To find out more and to take action in support of the campaign to free Bahraini teacher unionists being run by Education International and LabourStart, go to this link and this link. You can also find more resources on the Amnesty International website.