Local Bahraini official: We must "get rid" of "expatriate parasites"

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Jun 26 2010

A senior Bahraini local council member called to "get rid" of the "expatriate parasites" whose numbers keep increasing in his constituency in the Northern Municipality of Bahrain, the Gulf Daily News reported .

The council member, Abdulghani Abdulaziz, stated that the migrant workers are "uncontrollable", walk around "during late hours of the night like bats" and watch everyone at every corner. Abdulaziz claimed that the "parasites" are responsible for robberies that have taken place in the villages of Barbar, Duraz and Bani Jamra. According to him, the villagers are scared for their life and don't let their children and women walk outside out of fear they'll be kidnapped, molested or raped. The council member described the workers as noisy, drunk and indecent criminals who "invaded" the Bahraini neighborhoods. Abdulaziz added that "we are currently instructing property owners not to lease homes and apartments to those dangerous expatriate laborers."

This display of racism unfortunately represents a wide segment of Bahraini society. All across the country, Bahrainis are voicing their objection to living near single expatriate workers. Migrant workers are often perceived as criminals who threaten the traditions, lives and property of Bahrainis. In part due to this antagonism, labor camps similar to the ones in the UAE are being erected in Bahrain in an effort to segregate the general population from the blue-collar expatriate workers.

Contrary to the council member's claims, expatriate workers aren't "parasites" - they've helped build Bahrain and ask for little in return while their employers overwork them.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East