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Human Rights Situation in Bahrain Deteriorates asGovernment Campaign of Intimidation Increases
القسم : الأخبار

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2011-04-06 09:12:40


April 5, 2011 — The Solidarity Center is calling for an immediate end to threats, firings and arrests of rights activists and workers in Bahrain, where the government has imposed a harsh and brutal crackdown upon dissent
 
Since February 14, when thousands of Bahrainis peacefully took to the streets to call for greater political freedom and democracy, the government has reacted with violence— shooting and killing protesters, removing the wounded from hospitals, raiding homes and offices, and detaining hundreds of protesters, activists and opposition leaders, according to major human rights organizations and news accounts
 
In Bahrain, parliament today called on the government to take immediate legal measures against the heads of trade unions and associations who have supported the strike and to refer them to the public prosecution office. Hundreds of workers have been fired for participating in a general strike called by the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) when the government began cracking down on the pro-reform and democracy movement that began in February. The strike was called off when the government assured the labor organization that workers would not be harassed on the way to work
 
Five leaders of the Bahraini teachers’ federation were arrested over the last week. Rulla el Saffar, president of the Bahrain Nursing Society, was detained yesterday. Her
whereabouts remain unknown
 
Among those fired are Abdul Ghaffar Abdullah Hussein, a founding leader of the labor movement and chairman of the trade union at Bahrain Petroleum Co. (Bapco), as well as at least 300 workers at Aluminum Bahrain BSC (Alba) and the Khalifa Sea Port (operated by APM Terminals) and other industries. About 40 workers were dismissed by Gulf Air
 
Reports from Bahrain indicate that security forces are surrounding the area of the GFBTU’s headquarters as well as blocking roads leading to it. The organization’s website has been suspended
 
Salman Jaffar al Mahfoodh, GFBTU president, has been quoted saying that the
government should open real dialogue with the people and respond to their demands. The GFBTU is part of a broad civil-society coalition calling for change
 
“The attacks on basic freedoms of association, assembly and speech in Bahrain are unacceptable,” said Nancy Mills, Solidarity Center interim executive director. “Bahrain is in clear violation of its international commitments to respecting basic human and labor rights. The repression must end
 
Working with unions, nongovernmental organizations, and other community partners, the Solidarity Center supports programs to advance worker rights and promote broad-based, sustainable economic development for workers in Bahrain and all over the world. For more information about the Solidarity Center’s work, please visit www.solidaritycenter.org

 
 
 
 
 
 

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