Opinion Former Article

NASUWT welcomes release of jailed Bahraini teachers leader

The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, is delighted at the news that a Bahraini teachers’ trade union leader has finally been released from prison.

Mahdi Abu Dheeb, President of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA), was arrested in 2011 for nothing more than his commitment to organising and representing the interests of teachers and calling for quality education for all children and young people in Bahrain.

The NASUWT has been working closely with the BTA and campaigning with other partners, including Amnesty International and Education International, to press for Mahdi’s release and to call on the Bahraini authorities to respect human and trade union rights.

The NASUWT congratulates its members for their support for the campaign to secure Mahdi’s release.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“While the news that Mahdi has finally been released is wonderful, the fact remains that he has lost the last five years of his life and been subjected to repeated abuse and torture while in prison simply for doing nothing more than organising and representing the interests of teachers, and calling for quality education for all children and young people in Bahrain.”

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT Deputy General Secretary, said:

“Respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights remains a key issue in Bahrain and Mahdi’s release is not the end of the story.

“The NASUWT will continue to work with leaders of the BTA to ensure that the rights of teachers and children from all backgrounds in Bahrain are respected equally and that trade unions are able to represent their members without fear of attack or repression.”

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