Bahrain: Three unemployed citizens continue their sit-in

The streets have become a shelter for the unemployed

Manama 13th November 2007

No. BH000311

Arrest / mistreatment / financial rights

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights has been watching and is greatly concerned for three unemployed young men, their names are Ali Alhamly, Salman Najji, and Shaker Abdul-aal. These three men, whose ages range in the twenties and thirties, started a sit-in on the 12th of November 2007 by the Civil Service Court, which is the party responsible for employment in the Ministry.

Ali Alhamly told the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights: “In 2002 we organized a sit-in by the civil service court, after which there was a meeting between the demonstrators and the Minister of the Court. In that meeting we were promised work opportunities in the governmental ministries, but until this day we are still unemployed.”

Ali went on to say “And since 2002 I have been looking for a suitable job in the private sector, but I was not able to find a good job that would provide for me a life of dignity. I had previously demonstrated in front of the Kings Court, and I was given promises of job offers from officials. But all I got was a beating from riot police by the Kings Court.”

Ali points out that “having this sit-in by the Civil Service Court is a confirmation that we will not back down on our right of having a suitable job. We started this sit-in on Sunday 12th of November, and since then we have been sleeping every night on the street.”

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights sent a group to visit the location of the sit-in. The group observed that the demonstrators had very little to sleep on which could lead to health issues especially that their sit-in is continuous.

Salman Naji told us “In 2002 I went to the Ministry of Education because I was advised to do so by the Civil Service Court. There I went through all the procedures and I also took an employment admissions test. However, when I followed up with them I was told that the only job available was a position of a school security and that I have to be married to take that job.”

Salman went on: “In 2002 I also demonstrated in front of the house of the Minister of Interior Affairs, I was demanding a job in the Ministry of Interior. The Minister informed officials at the Ministry to follow up on the issue. But I am still being denied any job opportunities in the Ministry of Interior Affairs.”

The Human rights group that was sent noticed that while they were observing the sit-in there ware security in civilian clothing observing the sit-in closely from their security police car.

Shaker Abul-aal said that he lives in a small room by himself and he pays the rent. In this room there is a small kitchen and toilet separated only by hand made wooden walls. This room is also his living, eating and sleeping room. He added that he also has a son who lives with him, and in the winter months and through the rain their room does not even protect him and his family from the weather.”

The demonstrators have told us that during their sit-in the security forces attacked them and arrested one of them, but he was released soon afterwards.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights calls for the right of employment for citizens in accordance with the Bahraini constitutional rights and the international declarations. Furthermore, we call upon the government to implement its duty in accordance with the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights which was adhered by Bahrain. The government should also respect its Pledges with the International Labor Organization (ILO).