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Bahraini refugees rally in support of NSW teachers against O’Farrell’s education cuts

The Bahrain Australia Youth Movement (BAYM) will join NSW teachers today who are rallying statewide against cuts to education by the O’Farrell government in the latest budget.

“We join in solidarity with NSW Teachers who have suffered a massive blow with $1.7 billion slashed from the education budget. This is an outrageous attack not just on teachers but on students, families and communities across the state”, said Abdul Elah al-Hubaishi, a Bahraini refugee and member of BAYM also currently enrolled in TAFE.

“I arrived in Australia as a refugee last year and I have since been enrolled in an English speaking course at TAFE which has been so important to me. It is not acceptable that TAFE fees will be increased almost 10% with 1800 staff cuts in the education sector statewide. We will campaign alongside the NSW teachers to fight these cuts!”, he continued.

Since February 14 last year in Bahrain there has been escalating government violence towards the majority pro-democracy movement and the Indigenous Shia population. Teachers have been at the forefront of the protests and heavily targeted by security forces who routinely abducted children and teaching staff from classrooms during the uprisings last year.

Hana Husain, a Bahraini chemistry teacher refugee granted asylum in Australia last year testifies, “I witnessed first hand my students and colleagues being abducted, tortured and raped inside our school during the government terror campaign when we started to protest for democracy”.

Hundreds of teachers were brutalized, especially after we launched two strikes to demand an end to the crackdown. Many teachers were imprisoned including Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Jalila al-Salman, the president and vice president of the Bahrain Teacher’s Association who are still in jail facing long sentences for exercising their rights to protest”, she continued.

Education International, Labourstart and the International Trade Union Congress have all launched global campaigns for the release of imprisoned Bahraini teachers, including Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Jalila al-Salman.

Hana Husain will address the upcoming Labourstart Global Solidarity Conference 26-28 November at the NSW Teachers Federation in Sydney. She will present an eyewitness account of the crackdown on teachers in Bahrain at 4pm Tuesday 27 November and call for solidarity from the Australian trade union movement (see further details attached).

Teachers from all over the world need to stand strong together. We need to fight any government attacks, no matter what form they take, together!”, Husain concluded

BAYM MEDIA CONTACT:
HANA HUSAIN: 0415 909 566
ABDULELAH AL’HUBAISHI: 0452 211 581

References

http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1613 – Labourstart campaign re Bahraini teachers

http://www.ei-ie.org/en/uaas/uaa_details/44 – Education International Campaign in solidarity with Bahraini teachers

121118_MR_BAYMsupportsNSWteachers.pdf

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