10 thoughts on “Desperate Indian workers’ suicides in dictatorial Bahrain

  1. Relief for Indian workers stuck in Bahrain

    J Sam Daniel Stalin | Updated: July 18, 2012 11:07 IST

    Chennai: This news should come as a fresh lease of life for more than a hundred Indian migrant workers presently trapped in Bahrain due to a travel ban. Nass Contracting, the company that had secured a legal ban on their travel has agreed to withdraw all court cases pending against what it calls “run-away workers”.

    A recent case of suicide by Pasupathi Mariappan, a blacksmith from Tamil Nadu triggered outrage among immigrant employees from south Asian countries. A few weeks ago he hanged himself to death at a public park in Bahrain after he was allegedly barred from returning to his home country.

    Mr Mariappan was reportedly the 26th immigrant worker to kill himself in Bahrain for the same reason.

    His family alleges “workers were not paid what was promised and they were left with nothing to send home”.

    When the disgruntled employees chose to join other companies, Nass obtained a court order that prevented them from travelling abroad, citing violation of contract. The workers had to pay a fine as well. This literally trapped them in Bahrain for several years. Most of the workers learnt about the court order only when they were stopped at the airport.

    The fight for the release of the remaining hundred odd workers was initiated by Pasupathi’s brother Shankar, a government employee in Tamil Nadu. He started an online petition which drew support from more than twenty thousand people.

    Armed with this response, Avaaz, a global campaign network took the battle to Naas’ potential business partner in the UK. And it worked.

    The initially non-cooperative Naas started talks with the Indian Embassy and decide to drop cases against employees who have not reported for work. However, Nass denies that it underpaid workers. The company claims to follow a “transparent system that clearly reveals wages payable for workers”. It says these workers in question “were absconding from work without notice” but still the company would “as a matter of goodwill gesture…withdraw all cases against run-away workers”.

    It was not immediately clear how long would it take for the legal process to be completed, before the Indian workers to return home.

    Activists say this could just be the tip of the iceberg. Close to four lakh Indians work in Bahrain. Many workers are forced to surrender passports. They estimate hundreds of Indian workers could still be trapped with other employers. The Indian government, they say has to initiate steps to identify and bring home such silent sufferers, before it’s too late.

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  3. Manpower human trafficking case falls

    US: A federal judge dismissed human trafficking charges against executives and business associates of recruitment firm Global Horizons Manpower at the weekend, even after three of the eight defendants pleaded guilty.

    The company had been accused of exploiting 600 farm labourers from Thailand by putting them into debt, confiscating their passports and threatening to deport them.

    But an investigation found the prosecution wouldn’t be able to prove the charges.

    Melissa Vincenty, who represents more than 50 of the farm workers, said her clients would be disappointed not to testify in court.


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  8. CHENNAI: A pregnant woman from Tamil Nadu allegedly committed suicide in Bahrain while recording her last moments on a web camera, media reports said. Seetha Laxmi (28), from Coimbatore, was found hanging at her apartment in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, on Monday. …

    The number of suicide cases among Indians living in gulf countries is on the rise, especially in the UAE, statistics show. Financial problems, high inflation and pressure from families back home are driving a number of them to kill themselves, experts said. According to a Dubai police report, 70% of those committed suicide in 2012 were Indians.


  9. Pingback: Bahrain poverty drives workers to suicide | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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