29 Jan 2012

Recently, Bahrain was elected as the Vice-President of the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) (bna.bh/portal/en/news/490966) regardless of the human rights violations committed by the Bahraini government and Ministry of Education towards members of the educational sector, which includes students of all levels, teachers and professors. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemns the UNESCO's act of turning a blind eye towards the human rights and educational violations in Bahrain, especially as one of its main roles is to protect and nurture individual human rights. This act does not contribute in any way to the respect for human rights in Bahrain, but expresses support for the regime which did not stop targeting educators and students with arrests, unfair trials, and suspension from work for merely exercising the right to freedom of expression. BCHR demands freezing of Bahrain membership in the UNESCO IBE until it takes measurable steps to stop all the violations in the education sector.

The Bahraini government has been systematically violating human rights since the start of the pro-democracy movement on February 14 2011. Its brutal mass attack on pro-democracy protesters has resulted to the killing of 62 protesters, sacking of more than 2000 workers, arrest and detention of more than 1000 political detainees and many critical injuries. The medical and educational sectors have been the most affected by the government's systematic crackdown on the opposition. The educational sector has especially been attacked on a large scale with the targeting of teachers, students and university professors. The following is documentation of the ongoing violations against the educational sector in Bahrain:

University students

- More than 500 university students were deprived from their studies by expulsion or suspension - Around 26 students are yet to be reinstated to their schools - Tens were arrested and hundreds are currently awaiting trial - At least 6 students are in jail and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment

Read More:

University Professors

- More than 20 university professors were sacked and suspended for going to the Pearl Roundabout and many are currently waiting to be sentenced by trial - Others were arrested and tortured in detention

Read More:

School Teachers and students

- Bahrain Teachers Association was dissolved by the government - Teachers unionists were arrested, tortured and sentenced up to 10 years imprisonment, and 7 of them are currently awaiting trial - Schools were raided by security forces, where students and teachers were tortured on school campus and violently arrested - Hundreds of teachers were arrested, detained and tortured - More than 100 teachers were sacked from their jobs, only to be reinstated after more than 7 months and their positions were downgraded for participating in pro-democracy protests - Hundreds of teachers were unjustly subjected to salary cuts - Many students were expelled or suspended for political writings in their textbooks such as “Down Down Hamad”

Read More: