Jailing of teacher union leader in Bahrain

 

Sir, – We wish to highlight the continued imprisonment of Mahdi Abu Dheeb, president, Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA). Mahdi Abu Dheeb was unjustly detained for exercising the right to freedom of assembly and demanding reforms in the Bahraini educational system. He was sentenced to a lengthy jail term and remains in prison in Bahrain despite a deteriorating health condition.

The BTA is playing a leading role in the struggle for independent democratic trade unions in Bahrain, has defended teachers’ rights and led calls for quality education.

This work was recognised internationally recently when the leaders of the BTA were awarded the 2015 Arthur Svensson International Prize for trade union rights for their efforts to promote and strengthen trade unions and trade union rights in their country. This international prize for trade union rights honours Arthur Svensson, one of the most prominent trade union leaders in Norway (1930-2008). We congratulate the BTA on this award, which is a boost for the spirit of its members in very difficult circumstances. It is also an encouragement to the thousands of Bahraini teachers who still believe in a future where trade union rights and quality education for all will be a reality.

Irish teacher unions have long supported the BTA in its struggle and continue to do so and have demanded the unconditional release of Mahdi Abu Dheeb. – Yours, etc,

PHILIP IRWIN,

President,

Association of

Secondary Teachers Ireland;

ROSE MALONE,

President,

Irish Federation

of University Teachers;

GERRY QUINN,

President,

Teachers’ Union of Ireland;

SEAN McMAHON,

President,

Irish National

Teachers’ Organisation,

35 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.