A week after the re-arrest of Jalila Al Salman, Vice President of Bahrain Teachers Association, an event in Parliament discussed the crackdown on teachers in the Arab Spring, with special focus on Bahrain.
The event, hosted by Katy Clark MP and the MENA Solidarity Network, featured a special video message from Jalila Al Salman, recorded just days before her arrest. Watch the video below:
Resigned MP Ali Alaswad gave an overview of the situation in the education sector in Bahrain. He mentioned that over 5000 teachers were interrogated by illegally set-up disciplinary boards, with a further 1000 being sent to courts. Alaswad spoke about the many teachers who were suspended or sacked, a process still going on today, simply for having political opinions.
He informed that the Bahrain Teachers Association was dissolved on the same day that Mahdi Abudeeb, it’s President, was arrested. He said that still to this day the board members of the BTA were not informed as they were all in detention when the decision was taken. Alaswad provided a number of facts about attacks on education workers in Bahrain, including that 5000 teachers were taken infront of illegally formed disciplinary boards. He added that the quality of education in Bahrain has severley suffered with the suspension and sackings of high quality teachers to be replaced by unqualified volunteers.
Another former MP, Jawad Fairouz, spoke from the floor to highlight the torture faced by Mahdi Abudeeb, having been in prison at the same time as the President of the NTA. He spoke about how Abudeeb had been beaten and thrown from second floor balcony and how he faced the same punishment.