Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East

Return to research Posted on Mar 28 2011

Southasian migrant workers have been the targets of a number of violent attacks by anti-government protestors in Bahrain in recent weeks. 40 workers have been attacked in recent weeks, and three remain in a critical condition in hospital, according to the Bahrain Migrant Workers’ Protection Society. The situation has become so bad that members of the Asian community took out an advert in the Gulf Daily News asking for protection from ‘brutal and savage attacks’ (full story here)

“We are very upset with all the attacks on the poor Pakistanis and Bangladeshis,” MWPS chairwoman Mona Almoayyed told the GDN on behalf of both rights organisations.

“It is not fair that migrant workers who are not part of the conflict get attacked.

“I heard a group of people attacked cold stores and samboosa shops and said: “Close the shop or we will beat you.”

“These people are voiceless, they are too scared to say anything so they close the shop.

“They can’t work, they are too scared.”

Ms Almoayyed said those targeted were mainly Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh, who were earning low salaries and living in labour camps based in poor villages.

She said it was thought that anti-government protesters attacked them because they mistook them for naturalised citizens working for the police force or Bahrain Defence Force.

“They aren’t in the army and they aren’t Bahrainis, just Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who come to work in Bahrain,” said Ms Almoayyed.

Here is a video of the situation:

Bahrain, Workers

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Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East