The nightmare faced by two teachers in Bahrain. It’s why we Write for Rights.
The terrifying threats. “We can do anything to you. Anything.” Mocked, tortured, threatened. Forced to sign a confession, without even being allowed to read it. Civilians subject to an unjust military trial.
This is the story of two former leaders of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, who were arrested and ill-treated during this spring’s protests in Bahrain. Jalila and Mahdi are among the 15 cases featured in Amnesty’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon this year.
Your letters are urgently needed. Next week marks a key milestone in Jalila and Mahdi’s case. One day after International Human Rights Day on December 10th, Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb face an appeal hearing.
Why are these two teachers considered so “dangerous”? Because their trade union called for a teachers strike during Bahraini protests this spring — protests seeking reform of a government that has used torture and excessive force against its own citizens.
Jalila and Mahdi have seen the horrific behavior of Bahrain’s government firsthand. Mahdi spent 64 days in solitary confinement, where he says he was tortured. And when Jalila demanded a lawyer after her arrest, she says the authorities rebuffed her with the chilling words: “Who said you would have a lawyer in here? It’s us, only us. And we have the permission to do anything to you to [get] the testimony we want.”
After unfair trials before a military court, Jalila was sentenced to three years in prison, and Mahdi was sentenced to ten years. It’s clear that Bahrain’s authorities have no regard for human rights.
Don’t let Jalila and Mahdi face their appeal hearing alone. Be there by writing a letter. It’s not too late — join us to Write for Rights.
Senior Director, Individuals at Risk Campaign
Amnesty International USA