Migrant workers killed in Bahrain fire

This video says about itself:

Bahrain police trap people in a garage and set fire to it – 23 Sept 2011

Video shot in Sanabis village near Manama, Bahrain on September 23, 2011 shows police leaving a home after chasing protesters inside and setting fire to it by throwing sound grenades near an opened cooking gas container according to eyewitnesses in the home. The protesters tried to escape through a garage when police officers outside tried to trap them in. Once the protesters managed to get out of the garage police fired rubber bullets at them from a close range and beat one of the youth on the street. At least seven of the protesters are being treated for third degree burns caused by the fire.

Later, when people from Sanabis were fighting to put out the flames, riot police again attacked them.

Fires kill workers in Bangladesh, Germany and elsewhere, as bosses’ profits often prevail over workers’ safety.

Today, news from Bahrain; where the dictatorial regime and bosses allied to it trample upon the rights of both Bahraini and immigrant workers:

Migrant workers killed in Bahrain fire

Firefighters locate remains of 13 people in three-storey building that caught fire at labour camp in capital, Manama.

Last Modified: 12 Jan 2013 06:53

A fire in a labour camp in the Bahraini capital Manama has killed at least 13 people, the country’s civil defence department has said.

The Bahrain News Agency quoted the acting head of civil defence as saying that firefighters had found the bodies of 13 people inside the three-storey building on Friday.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign labourers, mainly from the Asian subcontinent, work in the island kingdom, one of six oil-producing Gulf Arab states that rely heavily on foreign labour.

From Gulf Daily News:

The death toll could rise as firemen were late last night still searching the site for more victims after the roof of the building collapsed during the blaze.

The dead workers have yet to be identified. …

Sixteen workers died in a fire in Gudaibiya in 2006 and 10 others were killed in a blaze in East Riffa last year.

From the BBC:

The nationalities of those who died in unclear.

“In that building there are 28 rooms, of which there are three rooms occupied by Pakistani nationals and the rest occupied by Bangladeshis,” one resident of the building told Reuters.

According to the 2010 census, there are more than 660,000 foreign nationals living in Bahrain – the vast majority of whom are described as Asian – out of a total population of 1.23m.

From Migrant Rights:

A fire in a Manama labor camp killed at least 13 migrant workers on January 11. No information regarding the cause of the fire has been released, but Bahraini labour camps hold a seriously dangerous safety record: In May, a fire in an overcrowded labor camp killed 10 Bangladeshis. In 2009, two men were killed in another overcrowded labor camp – the sixth fire that had struck Bahraini labor camps within a 4-week period.

Bahrain migrant workers

Twelve men shared a single room with no beds or air conditioning. Image from HRW

In 2008, a fire killed three Bangladeshis living in a run-down building, In 2007, a fire destroyed camps in East Riffa. In 2006, a fire killed 16 Indians and injured 7 others at another Manama labor camp.

2006 fire

A 2006 fire in Bahrain left at least 16 laborers dead. Image from ConstructionWeekOnline.com

Bahraini authorities as well as the companies responsible for these camps have repeatedly rejected efforts to improve housing standards. In 2008, Bahrain’s Migrant Workers’ Protection Society’s (MWPS) attempt to improve safety measures in several labor camp were received with little enthusiasm. Furthermore, some laborers who complain claim they get blackmailed by their companies or threatened with deportation.

Migrant Rights will continue to monitor the incident and will provide updates as more information is released.

Bahraini activist’s triumphant return. Amid a groundswell of support for the Al-Khawaja family to win the Nobel Prize, daughter Maryam ends her exile: here.

The Bahrain Blackout in Arab Media: here.

19 thoughts on “Migrant workers killed in Bahrain fire

    • You are right. I hope that the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain will manage to end the dictatorship. If the Bahraini royal family would get no more British, US and other weapons to oppress workers that would be progress already.


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  8. New clamp on illegal expatriates planned

    Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013

    THE Interior Ministry yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to crack down on illegal expatriate workers.

    Inspector-General Major-General Ibrahim Habib Al Ghaith signed the deal with LMRA chief executive Ausamah Al Absi.

    Under the agreement, a centre will be set up to shelter 300 runaway workers before their deportation.

    The Interior Ministry will also join ranks with LMRA officials to refer violators of labour laws to authorities prior to their deportation.

    Thirty Interior Ministry employees will be assigned to help LMRA inspectors to enforce labour market regulations and track down violators.

    Major-General Al Ghaith highlighted the directives issued by Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa to back official efforts in combating the phenomenon of illegal workers.



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  14. Suicide bid woman recovering…

    By FRANCES LEATE , Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013

    AN Indonesian woman who tried to commit suicide shortly after arriving in Bahrain is making a slow recovery in hospital.

    Domestic worker Zoou Huria, 28, was admitted to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) on Thursday after jumping from a second floor apartment in A’ali.

    She is believed to have suffered injuries to her neck, legs and face.

    Indonesian Embassy consular section head Mohammed Rifqi told the GDN she had regained consciousness, but was still in a serious condition.

    “Doctors have said that she will become stable after a few weeks of medication,” he said.

    “Her sponsor, who was out of Bahrain when the incident occurred, said he did not know what forced her to take this drastic step. No more information can be gathered until she starts speaking.”

    After recovering in hospital it is thought Ms Huria will be cared for at a shelter operated by the Indonesian Embassy.

    The GDN has reported 25 suicides and attempted suicides in Bahrain since the beginning of the year, most of them low-paid workers from either India or Pakistan.

    However, Migrant Workers’ Protection Society (MWPS) chairwoman Marietta Dias said it was impossible to know the exact figure because many incidents were not made public.

    At least three other expat women had been admitted to hospital in the last two months after attempting suicide.

    Ms Dias said she visited one Indian woman who attempted suicide and found two others in the same hospital ward, both from Indonesia.

    “It is a very sad situation and it is something that needs to be looked at in the country of departure, as much as it needs to be dealt with here,” she said.

    “Many of these workers are unprepared and don’t know what to expect when they come to Bahrain.

    “By the time they try to take their own life, it is too late for us to offer them the help they need.



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