Leaders of the Bahrain Teacher's Association Need Your Support!
On February 14, 2011, thousands of people gathered across Bahrain, peacefully demanding greater freedom, democracy and social justice. Peaceful protest soon turned to panic when security forces resorted to unwarranted violence, using live ammunition and excessive force without warning, and impeding and assaulting medical staff who tried to help the wounded. Within a week, seven protesters were dead, hundreds of others were injured.
In the months that followed, as thousands of Bahrainis continued to peacefully demonstrate against the government, the security forces continued to respond with deadly force. The human rights situation in Bahrain deteriorated significantly; dozens of protestors were killed, hundreds were arrested and many were tortured and beaten.
Scores of individuals received lengthy prison terms after unfair trials before military courts. Two of those individuals were Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, former leaders of the Bahrain Teachers' Association (BTA). Jalila and Mahdi were arrested in March and April 2011 after calling for a teachers' strike to support the protesters calls for reform. They report being subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention. In September 2011, a military court sentenced Jalila al-Salman to 3 years in prison, and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb to 10 years. Jalila was conditionally released pending her appeal hearing, but Mahdi remains in prison, despite appeals from his attorney for release because of his deteriorating health.
At their 2 April hearing, Mahdi testified that he was tortured when first detained, inside the ambulance when being taken to hospital for treatment of injuries resulting from that intial torture, and also at Gurein prison during the several weeks he spent in solitary cofinement. The forensic team to which the court previously referred Mahdi for medical examination has not been appointed.
Their appeal remains ongoing.
We need to bombard the Bahraini government with letters, tweets, postcards and more in order to ensure justice for Jalila, Mahdi, and others who have been targeted by the Bahrain government. More than a year has passed since the start of this uprising in Bahrain. We must keep the pressure on; we cannot waiver in our support. Even in the face of injustice and brutal repression, Bahrainis continue to call for justice and human rights– now is the time to add our voices, and ensure that the Bahraini government respects human rights and commits to a path toward genuine reform.
Take these 5 actions:
2. Click to Tweet
After you've sent your email, tweet to them as well. Here are some ideas:
- We demand justice for leaders of the #Bahrain Teachers Association @Khaled_Bin_Ali @MOSDsocial @MoeBahrain http://bit.ly/yHqxxl
- @Khaled_Bin_Ali @MOSDsocial @MoeBahrain demand justice for Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb leaders of the BTA
- We stand behind #Bahrain Teachers Association! @Khaled_Bin_Ali @MOSDsocial @MoeBahrain
- Teachers Belong in School, Not Prison! Justice for #Bahrain’s Teachers now! http://bit.ly/yHqxxl @Khaled_Bin_Ali @MOSDsocial @MoeBahrain
Be sure to follow @amnesty and retweet. We will flood these Bahraini authorities with tweets calling for justice letting them know the world is watching!
3. Show Your Support for Bahrain's Teachers
Hundreds of teachers have suffered harassment, dismissal and suspension from their work and studies since the protests began in 2011. Using the iconic imagery of blackboards or white boards, we will show members of the Bahrain Teachers Association (BTA) that they have many supporters and allies across the world. Here's how:
Write and complete this phrase on a blackboard or whiteboard:
“I support Bahrain's teachers because:”
We will share these pictures with Jalila, Mahdi, and other members of the BTA.
If you have any technical issues sending your photo in or have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Share Your Solidarity Messages of Support
Let the people of Bahrain hear you. Please leave a message of support below so that people in Bahrain know that we are standing beside them; that they are supported in their calls for human rights; that they are not alone in their fight for justice; and that we too are working to advocate for human rights in Bahrain.
Want to do more? Below are additional resources and actions you can do: