Indian workers’ suicides in Bahrain dictatorship

This video is called Abuse of Migrant Workers in Middle East – Campaigning for Rights.

From the Indian Express:

Indians in Bahrain seek urgent steps to tackle rising suicides

Wed Mar 14 2012, 10:55 hrs

Worried over a rise in the numbers of suicides among expatriates, Indian community leaders in Bahrain have demanded urgent steps to check the problem by offering counselling and support services.

At a gathering organised to discuss the problem and its causes, the community members said the rising numbers of suicides in the country should be a matter of concern that warranted immediate intervention, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News.

The alarm bell were sounded by reports that as many as seven Indians had committed suicides in Bahrain in the last few weeks alone.

Sovichen Chennattusserry, who organised the gathering and initiated discussions, said he is concerned that nine people had committed suicide in the last few weeks.

“A majority of them (seven) are Indians and all of them have left behind broken, shattered families,” he was quoted as saying.

Chennattusserry said they need the support of the media and the community leaders.

Salmaniya Medical Complex Accident and Emergency department chief resident, P V Cheriyan, said that though the number of deaths resulting from suicide attempts were small, the number of such attempts had been increasing.

“We get scores of cases from all sections, including teenagers, who have attempted suicide. We deal with these cases according to a set protocol,” he said, adding that awareness was the key in helping tackle the problem.

The discussions suggested that teams should regularly visit labour camps and create awareness among the people on how they should deal with stress, which usually leads them to taking the extreme step.

He said financial problems, chronic illnesses and people’s inability to deal with them lead to suicidal tendencies.

7 thoughts on “Indian workers’ suicides in Bahrain dictatorship

  1. Condition of Bahrain hunger striker seen worsening

    Andrew Hammond

    1:34 p.m. CDT, March 14, 2012

    DUBAI (Reuters) – The condition of a jailed Bahraini activist who has been on hunger strike for over a month is deteriorating and prison authorities may force-feed him, a lawyer who visited him this week said on Wednesday.

    Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is serving a life sentence for his role in a pro-democracy protest movement that erupted in February last year after uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia only to be put down by force one month later.

    He was found guilty of charges including forming and organizing a “terrorist group” to end the Al Khalifa monarchy and change the constitution. A founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, he is one of 14 protest leaders serving jail terms after controversial military trials.

    Facing international criticism of the crackdown, Western-allied Bahrain has moved most of the military verdicts and cases to civilian courts. The verdicts in the protest leaders case still stand, though an appeal is pending in civilian courts.

    The men held a brief hunger strike last month to demand their release, but Khawaja, a vocal rights activist believed to have been tortured in the first weeks of his detention, started his own hunger strike on February 9.

    The protest movement included opposition parties who want parliamentary reforms and groups calling for an end to the monarchy. Shi’ites complain of political and economic marginalization, a charge the government denies.

    Khawaja is drinking a liter a day of salted water and glucose but prison authorities may intervene to force-feed him if the hunger strike continues, said Mohammed al-Jishi, a lawyer who visited him this week.

    “He can’t go on like this, but he refuses absolutely to go back to eating. He says ‘I take my freedom or die’,” he said, adding Khawaja had stopped drinking water for several days last week. “Since Sunday he started drinking liquids again and got back strength and could talk and move.”

    Khawaja stopped drinking in protest after a visit by Bahraini rights group official who Khawaja had believed was a journalist, Jishi said. He said the group, viewed by Khawaja as pro-government, gave a false impression of his condition.

    “We believe that his hunger strike is not exposing him thus far to imminent danger,” the group called Mabadi said in a statement published in the pro-government al-Ayyam daily.

    Clashes continue on a daily basis in Shi’ite neighborhoods between youths and riot police, and there have been a number of small marches this week outside Manama in solidarity with Khawaja, who also has Danish nationality.

    Khawaja’s family have identified him as case no. 8 in abuse recounted by unnamed detainees in the November report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which Manama formed after international pressure to investigate the unrest.

    The detainee underwent surgery on his jaw after he was beaten up on arrest on April 8. The account says that abuse resumed eight days later, including beatings on the soles of his feet and being sodomized with a stick.

    The report says the detainee went on hunger strike at that time in an effort to stop the torture.

    Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal told his Bahraini counterpart last month that Khawaja must be released or face trial in civilian court. Danish consular staff have visited Khawaja in prison several times during his hunger strike.

    (Additional reporting by John Acher in Copenhagen; Writing by Andrew Hammond)


  2. Officials rescue locked-up teen

    INDIA: Authorities rescued a 13-year-old maid on Thursday who had been locked up by her employers in their flat with little food and water while they holidayed in Thailand.

    The girl was rescued after neighbours heard her crying for help and telephoned the police.

    She had endured six days locked up in the flat in a posh New Delhi neighbourhood.

    Child welfare official Neera Mullick said the girl ran out of food after two days and was weak with hunger.


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