Mahdi Abu Dheeb at his trial in 2012
Two years jailed in Bahrain: Release Mahdi Abu Dheeb
In 2011 the Bahrain Teachers’ Association’s (BTA) President, Mahdi Abu Dheeb, called on his teaching union to strike. The strike was in support of the large scale pro-democracy protests that had started in Bahrain in February of that year. He was charged with inciting hatred and attempting to bring down the regime.
He has been in prison since 6 April 2011, so the second anniversary of his incarceration has been and gone. He says he was tortured and forced to sign a confession he never saw. In addition, the medical attention he needs has been denied.
Mahdi was arrested and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment before an unfair military court (National Safety Court) on freedom of expression-related charges after participating in peaceful protests in 2011. The government says that charges related to freedom of expression were dropped and only criminal charges were retained for Mahdi’s appeal hearings.
On 21 October 2012, the appeal court upheld the guilty verdict against the head of the BTA leader, but reduced his prison sentences to five years. Mahdi will have his last chance of appeal before the highest Court in Bahrain; the Cassation Court; and till now dates have not yet been set.
The BTA leader has been detained on false charges under laws that repress basic human and trade union rights. The TUC fully supports the call by Amnesty International UK for Mahdi to be released and his accusations of torture to be fully investigated. If you want to read more about Mahdi and want to support these demands go to Amnesty International UK