FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 26 AUGUST 2012
Bahraini Refugees Rally for Rights in Sydney Today
“My people are burning under a regime of heart-less violence, who will listen to their stories?”
Bahraini refugees and supporters will rally in North Hyde Park at 1pm today to draw attention to the ongoing terror being waged against their families in Bahrain by the US-backed Al’Khalifa dictatorship.
The rally will be addressed by Irene Doutney, Greens councillor and current candidate for mayor of City of Sydney and Mark Goudkamp, a member of the NSW Teachers Federation and Refugee Action Coalition.
“We are calling on the Australian community for understanding, solidarity and an uncompromising commitment to human rights, both for refugees in Australia and for our people in Bahrain”, said Abdul Elah Al’Hubaishi a 34 year old civil engineer and father of two who was granted asylum in Australia last year.
Since February 14 2011, a popular civilian movement demanding democracy in Bahrain has been systematically repressed with overwhelming silence from the west. Over 100 people have been killed and there are currently over 500 political prisoners subjected to daily torture. Health services have been militarized and over 3000 pro-democracy protesters were initially fired from jobs.
Last week, a 16 year old boy, Hussam Al Haddad, was shot in the back by security forces sparking outrage.
“My people are burning under a regime of heart-less violence, who will listen to their stories? The regime and the global media try to portray the conflict between the shia majority and sunni rulers as sectarian to weaken the legitimacy of the pro-democracy movement”, Al’Hubaishi continued.
“We need people to understand that demanding democracy is not a sectarian act, it is a human right!”, Al’Hubaishi concluded.
Mark Goudkamp, a member of the NSW Teacher’s Federation and the Refugee Action Coalition commented, “Teachers, along with health professionals and other workers, have been at the forefront of both the uprising in Bahrain”.
He continued, “Bahraini Teachers Association (BTA) President Mahdi Abu Dheeb has been imprisoned in deplorable conditions for more than a year, is being denied medical treatment, wasn’t allowed to receive food from his family during Ramadan, and faces his final defence court session on 9 September”.
“While the west speaks of human rights in the region, it has turned a blind eye to Saudi and UAE troops invading to assist their fellow monarch in Bahrain. And the many thousands of Bahrainis who’ve fled to Europe, North America and to a lesser extent Australia, face an uncertain future with western governments putting up ever higher barriers to asylum seekers”, Goudkamp concluded.
Amnesty Australia has also issued a message to the rally condemning the abuses perpetrated against protesters by the Bahraini authorities and demands that all prisoners of conscience are immediately released.
FOR FURTHER COMMENT, CONTACT:
ABDUL ELAH AL’HUBAISHI – 0452 211 581
MARK GOUDKAMP – 0422 078 376
Bahrain Australian Youth Movement Joins World Refugee Day Rally in Sydney 24 June 2012 Photographs by Carlo Righini (www.carlorighini.com)