NASUWT meets Bahrain ambassador to call for release of jailed teachers’ union leader
The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has today been part of a delegation calling for the release of the jailed president of the Bahrain Teachers Association (BTA) Mahdi Abu Dheeb at the Bahrain embassy in London.
Deputy General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach was part of a delegation led by Amnesty International to the Bahrain Embassy in London to call for Mahdi’s release.
The meeting was called to present to the Bahrain Ambassador 37,000 signatures from teachers and others who signed Amnesty’s petition calling for the release of Mahdi.
The NASUWT has been working for the last three years for the release of Mahdi and today’s meeting is part of the long-term campaign to secure the release of Mahdi and other jailed trade unionists and to restore human rights in the country.
Mahdi Abu Dheeb has been in prison since 2011 and there are serious concerns about his health and access to medical treatment. Visits from family members are also restricted.
The meeting raised concerns about Mahdi’s deteriorating health and about his continued persecution in prison.
The delegation also raised concerns regarding continuing violations of children’s rights in Bahrain, following the imprisonment of children in adult facilities and the denial of access to education.
The Ambassador undertook to relay to the government of Bahrain the concerns raised at the meeting.
Dr Roach, who is also an Executive Board member of Education International, said:
“The NASUWT will continue to press for the release of Mahdi Abu Dheeb and will continue to campaign for the freedom of others who have suffered violence and intimidation or have been locked up or denied the right to work and study and who have had their right to freedom of association violated.
“The situation in Bahrain remains of serious concern and we want to see the release of Mahdi who has been incarcerated for exercising basic human and trade union rights.
“We also called on the Ambassador to urge the government of Bahrain to reinstate all teachers who have been dismissed and to take steps to end discrimination against Bahraini teachers.
“Attacks on the rights and freedoms of teachers can only be viewed as an attack on quality education for children and young people in Bahrain.”
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