Education International
Education International

Bahrain: Teacher leaders under threat of torture

published 25 October 2011 updated 26 October 2011

EI has relaunched its Urgent Action Appeal on Bahrain. bahraini teachers fear for the safety of their leaders, after the heavy-handed arrest of their vice president Jalila al-Salman.

Jalila al-Salman was taken from her home on 19 October by a force of more than 30 security officials, including riot police, who arrived in seven vehicles. The officials reportedly stated that they were enforcing a court order for her arrest though they refused to produce the formal arrest warrant.

On 25 September, Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, the president of BTA, were sentenced to three and ten years of imprisonment by a military court, despite their civilian status. Their appeal is due to be heard in a civilian court on 1 December. EI questions why Jalila al-Salman has been arrested while other defendants, also waiting for their civilian court appeals, have been released on bail.

Jalila was arrested after speaking out about the continued repression and abuses that Bahraini teachers have to face. Jalila told EI how she was tortured, as well as verbally abused to force her to sign incriminating statements while in pre-trial detention. Her latest arrest inevitably raises renewed concerns about her safety in detention.

EI believes that the union leaders have been imprisoned solely on account of the legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. They should be released immediately and unconditionally and their convictions nullified.

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