Bahrain Government continues to Persecute Teachers

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Bahraini Girls' School attacked by Security Forces

Teachers in Bahrain continue to be persecuted by the government

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights issued a statement last week detailing the treatment of teachers inlcuding arrests, torture and sackings. The statement points out that teachers have been in the forefront of the struggle for democracy in Bahrain, in particular by taking part in a strike as a result of the brutal crackdown by the government in February.

Since that time leading members of the Bahrain Teachers Association have been arrested and held incommunicado without access to lawyers and family members. Some of these are still detained.

At lease 66 teachers hace been arrested since then and the BTA has been closed down by the government. Women were disproportionately affected with girls' schools being targeted for raids and students and teachers interrogated and arrested. Under detention many of those arrested were abused both verbally and physically. In addition many teachers have been arbitrarily sacked after being accused of taking part in pro-democracy protests.

The report states. "Teachers have been facing severe degradation, not only being subjected to arrests, humiliation, insults, torture, and sacking but also have been subjected to an aggressive working environment not knowing what will happen next.

"The Ministry of Education has been sending probe committees to schools or calling them to the ministry for interrogation. There are teachers who have been through up to 4 interrogations where they were questioned about participating in peaceful protests, going to the Pearl roundabout, being members of the teachers’ union or any political society for that matter, going on strike, and participating in sit-ins in front of schools or the ministry premises.

"Theconsistent interrogations and the aggression in the schools towards them being looked at as criminals and treated as traitors being reported on by their colleagues and schools’ management has created a difficult environment to work in and it was made even tougher awaiting to be called for yet another interrogation or to be told that they have been sacked."

To read the statement in full go to: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/4387

Bahrain
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