Tag Archives: Bahrain

On behalf of teachers

Today’s letter in the Amnesty International’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon  focused on teachers which comes close to my heart since my family contains a number of teachers over the generations.

Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, leaders of the Bahrain Teachers Association, appear to have been imprisoned because of the association’s calls for strikes during the protests earlier this year.

Amnesty International reports that authorities first arrested Jalila al-Salman on 29 March 2011, and reportedly ill-treated her in detention.   Mahdi Abu Dheeb was arrested on 6 April and reportedly suffered torture and solitary confinement.  Although civilians, the two teachers were tried before a military court, in breach of their right to a fair trial.  In September, Jalila al-Salman was sentenced to three years in prison, and Mahdi Abu Dheeb was sentenced to ten years.  Their appeal is to be heard by the High Criminal Court in December.

The request to the King asks for an investigation into the case and the allegations of torture and ill-treatment.  It asks that any who are found responsible for ill-treatment be held accountable. It further asks that if the investigation shows that Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi Abu Dheeb were arrested because of their leadership of the Bahrain Teachers Association and their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly,  should be immediately and unconditionally released, and all charges against them should be dropped.  The King is asked to ensure that their appeal hearing meets international standards and that any evidence obtained through torture or duress not be used against them.  The King is also asked to uarantee that they receive appropriate medical care and are protected from ill-treatment.

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My heart aches

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