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Showing blog posts tagged with Bahrain

Bahraini Labor Activists: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo via Solidarity Center/Kate Conradt.

In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.

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U.S. Seeks Action from Bahrain on Firings of Trade Unionists

This morning, acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris and acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis announced that the United States had finally requested consultations with the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain under the Labor Chapter of the United States–Bahrain Free Trade Agreement. We're pleased the U.S. government is moving ahead with consultations even though we had hoped this announcement would have been issued months ago.  Unfortunately, the campaign to dismantle the Bahraini labor movement has been moving much faster than the U.S. response.

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Bahrain: Medics, Patients Persecuted in Ongoing Repression

Rula Al-Saffar (left) and Jehan Matooq are among medical professionals in Bahrain where medics continue to experience repression. Photo: Tula Connell

For sick or injured Bahrainis, going to the hospital means risking a prison term—or even death. Describing the “militarization of hospitals,” Rula al-Saffar, president of the Bahrain Nursing Society, said patients with “head traumas, broken bones or burns” are first interrogated by police to determine if they are involved in protests against the government. Health professionals are only allowed to treat patients after police investigate and clear them for treatment. For some, the delay means death.   

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Bahrain: Consultations an Important Opening to Protect Human Rights, Promote Regional Security

Bahraini workers rally for democracy at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, March 2011, photo courtesy of ITUC.

Finally, 17 months after the U.S. Department of Labor accepted a complaint detailing the government of Bahrain’s repeated violations of the free-trade agreement with the United States, the department has reported its findings. 

This report, issued today, is laudable for its call for bilateral consultations to address ongoing worker rights violations. However, the delay in its release has been costly—for Bahraini workers, for U.S. credibility as a human rights defender and for workers in other countries with bilateral trade agreements with the United States. If the U.S. government does not live up to its commitments and hold Bahrain accountable to the trade agreement’s labor chapter, then why should we expect other trading partners to bother?  

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Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights

This is an excerpt from The Huffington Post article, "Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights," by Cathy Feingold, director of AFL-CIO's International Department. 

What is the best way for the United States to stand against violent repression, the quashing of dissent, show trials, torture and other egregious violations of human and civil rights?

In the case of Bahrain, apparently, it is to include the country in a new U.S. trade and investment plan and offer mostly silence as the regime crushes its opposition, invests heavily in a public relations campaign and closes off the country to human rights and social justice activists.

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After the Arab Spring: Meany-Kirkland Award Honors Tunisian, Bahrain Labor Movements

After the Arab Spring: Meany-Kirkland Award Honors Tunisian, Bahrain Labor Movements

The Tunisian General Union of Labor (UGTT) and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU)—two unions whose struggles are emblematic of labor’s role in the Arab uprisings—received the 2012 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award in a ceremony last night at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.  

UGTT General Secretary Hassine Abassi and GFBTU General Secretary S. Salman Jaddar Al Mahfoodh received the awards for their respective labor movements.

Workers' issues, such as high unemployment and lack of opportunity, declining living standards and the arrogant abuse of political and economic power by the corrupt few, spurred the Arab uprisings; and unions and workers’ rights activists were engaged in some of the most important union organizing in the region’s history.

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Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award Honors Labor in the Arab Spring

The 2012 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award will honor the Tunisian General Union of Labor (UGTT) and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU)—two unions whose struggles over the past year are emblematic of labor’s role in the Arab uprisings, the AFL-CIO Executive Council announced at its annual winter meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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AFL-CIO Backs Bahrain Democracy Movement

The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center sends us this report.

One year ago today, a peaceful demonstration massed in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, with tens of thousands of men, women and children joining the call for greater social justice in their country. By exercising their rights to free speech and free assembly, the brave protesters provided their government with the chance to address issues of equality and democracy.

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