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Health Fears for Bahraini Teacher


HEalth fears for bahraini teacher

There are fears for the health of the former president of the Bahrain Teacher’s Association (BTA) Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb following allegations that he was beaten in detention. The next hearing of his appeal and that of former vice-president of the BTA, Jalila al-Salman, is scheduled for 19 February.

Jalila al-Salman’s and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb’s appeal hearing continued on 11 December 2011. Both defendants were present, although Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb ’s health condition is said to have deteriorated since he was moved to Jaw prison in October. There are allegations that he was beaten after the move. Jalila al-Salman is currently free on bail. They were sentenced in September to three and 10 years in prison respectively, for using their positions to call for a strike by teachers, halting the educational process, inciting hatred of the regime, attempting to overthrow the ruling system by force, possessing pamphlets and disseminating fabricated stories and information, among other charges.

During the court hearing their lawyers asked for the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s report to be included in the case file because of the allegations of torture detailed in it. The lawyers also asked for Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb’s ‘confessions’ allegedly obtained under torture not to be used as evidence in the case, and also requested his release on bail based on his health condition. This latter request was rejected and it is not clear if the other two requests will be accepted in the next court hearing. The next hearing has been scheduled on 19 February. Amnesty International believes Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Jalila al-Salman have not used or advocated violence. They appear to have been targeted solely for their leadership of the BTA and for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Please write immediately in English, Arabic or your own language:

n                    Express concern that Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb   may be prisoners of conscience who have been convicted on criminal charges solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including criticism of the Bahraini government, in which case they should be released

n                    Urge the Bahraini authorities to ensure that their appeal meets international standards for fair trial. This means the court must start a fresh investigation, disregard statements obtained under torture, hear defendants and allow defence lawyers to call and cross-examine witnesses;

n                    Urge them to immediately set up an independent investigation into their alleged torture or other ill-treatment

n                    Urge the authorities to protect Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb from any torture or other ill-treatment and ensure he receives any medical treatment required;




Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa

Office of His Majesty the King

P.O. Box 555

Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama,Bahrain

Fax: +973 176 64 587

Salutation: Your Majesty


Prime Minister

Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa 

Office of the Prime Minister

P.O. Box 1000, al-Manama,

Fax: +973 175 33 033

Salutation: Your Highness


Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa

Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs,

P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain

Fax: +973 175 31 284

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation    


Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the sixth update of UA 227/11. Further information:

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