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The NASUWT has been lobbying the British government to use its influence to put pressure on the Bahrain authorities over human and trade union rights.

A delegation from the union met with senior officials in the Foreign Office to urge them to seek action over the repressive policies of the Gulf state.

NASUWT Deputy General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach called for an end to the “unjustifiable restrictions” being placed on the leaders of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Jalila al Salman, President and Vice President of the BTA.

Mahdi was only released from prison in 2016 after being locked up in 2011 simply for demanding reforms to Bahrain’s education system. He was subjected to repeated abuse and torture. Jalila was also detained and tortured by the authorities as well.

Mahdi received the NASUWT’s International Solidarity Award 2017 and along with Jalila attended the NASUWT Annual Conference at Easter.

But since then the pair have been subject to house arrest and travel restrictions preventing them leaving the country to go to international conferences.

The NASUWT believes they are being prevented from leaving Bahrain in an effort to try and silence them.

Speaking following his meeting at the Foreign Office, Dr Roach said: “We have been stressing the importance of the UK Government impressing on Bahrain the need to respect human and trade union rights, including the right to freedom of association and freedom of movement.

“We particularly raised concerns regarding the plight of the BTA, Jalila al Salman and Mahdi Abu Dheeb who have had unjustifiable restrictions placed on their ability to lead the BTA, which is an internationally recognised and respected organisation.

“Ministers need to put pressure on the Bahraini government to meet their international obligations, particularly allowing teachers to organise and to belong to free and independent trade unions.”

 

 

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