Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rights to Fire

Human needs and basic rights have always been the cause of activists that have long fought for what’s humanly right. People’s physical needs are relatively satisfied, with the individual’s safety needs taking precedence and dominate behavior. Even before Maslow’s introduction of his Hierarchy of Needs in 1954, international labor laws (employment law) were established to address the legal rights of and restrictions on, working people and their organizations to ensure their employment rights are protected. As such, it mediated many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees. Amongst these laws is the individual labor law which concerns employees’ rights at work and through the contract for work like: Wage concerns, Working Time, Health and Safety, Anti-discrimination and of course the currently rising, Unfair Dismissal.
The law pertaining to the dismissal of a worker from his employment has been the object of intense scrutiny, both on a national and international level in recent years. While a number of countries have made significant strides in the area of job protection, standards worldwide are by no means uniform.

Bahrain for decades has been a country with enforced laws pertaining to Labor which preserves the rights of the workers, however, what happened to Bahrain is no coincidence, as it was a planned General Strike (aka Civil Disobedience) that cost Bahrain more than approximately $100 Million in losses from only 9 Companies, let alone the entire damages of the whole country. According to reliable sources in just industrial companies, during the social unrest more than 25,000 working hours have been lost which is meant to be a driving force for a country that relies heavily on its manpower to fuel its economic growth, the same economy that is meant to be paying their monthly wages has been harmed due to a large group's political interference and ambitions in society that has crawled into the national workplace environment.  
[[With a Clear Breakdown of Only 1 Company's Hours Lost]]:

                 8 hours a day x 10 days x 3 shift cycle= 240 hours lost in only one company.

The national and international labor laws have been violated one by one and exploited by the protestors whose aims were not professional labor reforms, but political unrest, social instability and economic losses. Below are many of the divulged laws violated by the protestors on a local and global scale.

- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights- United Nations (Laws)

Article(8).d. United Nations General Assembly Resolution
"The right to strike, provided that it is exercised in conformity with the laws of the particular country".

Article (8).2. United Nations General Assembly Resolution
"This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions or the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces or of the police or of the administration of the State".
Thus, when the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Union declared, that 900 have been dismissed from their jobs, is considered a rather minimal percentage to the 70,000 who have demonstrated illegally, breaking the basic labor laws and contract of employment causing massive economic losses. According to the law, it should be an even larger percentage who should have been dismissed, but due to reasonable implementation of the law, a dot percentage is affected by their own actions.   

Before we can go further into general private and public sector laws of the country, it is important to note that:

As issued in Article 20 of the Trade Union Act after its amendments, it is prohibited for Trade Union Organizations to:
1-      Exercise Political Action: “Any Declaration or Exercise of political action coming out from the Trade Union is a direct assault on the right of other workers and constitutes a violation of the law”.

Below: Declaration by General Federation of Bahrain Trade Union (urging general strike despite it being illegal).

                                                                           For the English Version

For Public Sector – Civil Service Bureau (Kingdom of Bahrain):
Article (21). Duties & Prohibited Acts
“The employee must work honestly and with integrity to ensure the dignity of his job and place of work”.
Article(22). Administrative Investigation & Disciplinary
“Any employee who violates the provisions of this Act or its implementing regulations, resolutions or executive instructions, or shows or any appearances of prejudice to the dignity of the post or entity to which he belongs, will be sought and chastised under disciplinary reasons”.
Article (28). Anti-Disciplinary Outage
“The employee is considered resigned if he/she misses work for 15 days consecutively or 30 work days disjointedly. If the employee does not provide legitimate grounds for his absence and was reasons rejected, then his service is terminated from the date of his absence from work”. 

For Private Sector – Bahrain Labor Law - prescribed by Bahrain Labor Ordinance (Kingdom of Bahrain):
Article (113).4 Labor Law
“If the worker absents himself without reasonable cause for more than 20 days in one year or for more than 10 consecutive days, provided that such dismissal shall be preceded by warning in writing by the employer to the worker after an absence of ten days in the former instance and an absence of five days in the latter instance”.
Article (113).5 Labor Law
“An employer shall dismiss worker if the worker fails to perform his essential duties under the contract of employment”.
Legal Strike Terms and Conditions Include:
1-     Approval from the majority of the General Assembly of the Organization for the Declared Strike by Trade Union
2-     Notifying the Employer Fifteen days prior to the carrying out of the Strike (Violation)
3-     Do not stop the work flow or working while the dispute is being settled through conciliation and arbitration (Violation)
4-     Conducting a Strike at vital installations are prohibited by law and would result in a strike to undermine national security or disturbance in the functionality of the daily life of citizens under Resolution No. 62 for the year 2006, the identified vital facilities that are prohibited from Strike are (Violation):
·        Security
·        Civil Defense
·        Airports
·        Ports
·        Hospitals, Medical Centers and Pharmacies
·        All means of transport of people and goods
·        Telecommunications
·        Electricity
·        Water
·        Bakeries
·        Educational Institutions
·        Oil and Gas facilities
                                Bapco Employee at a Political Demonstration causing Social Unrest
                                                                   Alba Employee at the Illegal Protest
Alba Employees causing an Illegal Nation Wide Civil Disobedience

                                          Doctors & Nurses Protesting Illegally despite disallowance
                                Social Worker at Riffa Al Shargi Boys School absent from Work causing Social Unrest
       Doctor wearing a tshirt translates to "I am the next Martyr" which not only goes against the law by the law of conduct  

                                                   Cineco Worker leaving work to join illegal demonstration
                             Industrial Workers leaving their duties for an illegal political demonstration
More Images of Industrial Workers that chose to listen to the unreliable General Federation of BahrainTrade Union by leaving their work and putting their country in turmoil
Legal Means to Prosecute the General Union:

Prosecuting the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Union on the basis of peer transgressions and legal criminal complaint by the way of the Code: Article 293 of Legislative Decree No. 15 of 1976 issuing the Penal Code after amendments:

1- "If three public officials leave their work, even in the form of resignation or abstain intentionally to perform any of their duties on purpose and to achieve a common purpose should all be punished by imprisonment not exceeding one year for refraining from their professional duties, putting people's lives or their health or safety in danger in addition to disrupting or striving to malfunction the public interest as the offender is in this case is an instigator".  

2- Article 294 of the Act has provided that "the punishment is imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or a fine of fifty dinars per public officer who leaves or refrains from action of his duties with a view to prevent the course of the work".

Contrary to the known universal idiom; No bad deed goes unpunished, not when it involves the safety, security, economy, and political stability of a nation. The country no longer has to stretch its boundaries when the people of the country were conspiring for its downfall. Bahrain and its reputable institutions by law have every right to fire employees who were instigators and participators in the social unrest. Someone once said "the trouble with the laws these days is that criminals know their rights better than their wrongs". When a country fights to give its people their rights to defend their work, it is only fair that they respect it, but apparently people committing unlawful acts actually believe they will go unharmed. We are not living in a Utopia, welcome to the real world, where real punishments apply.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Abusing Human Rights in Bahrain

We were all born with rights and freedom which we are entitled to; this is the basic definition for Human Rights. The concept falls under basic privileges and entitlements endowed to every human being simply for being one, which is why Human rights was conceived as a universal protector of the rights of man, if not by justified moral norms or natural rights, then by legal rights on a national or international level. Bahrain has witnessed a new kind of exploitation to Human Rights, one that should be uncovered to point out the many violations the protestors of my beloved country have breached. Amongst the universally known human right infringement by the violent protestors in Bahrain will be presented below. However, before human rights law can be effective, there is a national safety law that is even more important to implement then that of Human Rights which is:
10. 2 Human Rights in Times of Emergency – United Nations
The enjoyment of some human rights may be restricted during times of war or public emergency. The international instruments on human rights define a state of emergency as a “..public emergency which threatens the life of a nation.”
Thus, it is without a doubt that the United Nations recognizes that human rights can be limited or even pushed aside during times of national emergency as it is a legal matter of basic human rights vs. national security, giving the upper hand to national security and in a circumstance known as peremptory norms or jus cogens, making the law revocable based on the binding obligations by the United Nations Character. This law gives countries justification for human rights violations for example: Japanese American internment in WWII, Stan’s Great Purge, and modern day abuses of terror suspects rights by countries, often in the name of War on Terror.
Having said that, the protestors prior and even during the ongoing state of emergency in Bahrain, have contravened numerous basic rules of International Humanitarian Law. Amongst them are:

·      Human Right Violation # 1 (Right to Life):

Article 3. : Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Right to life is a phrase that describes the belief that a human being has an essential right to live, particularly that a human being has the right not to be killed by another human being.
Law:  "Every human being has the inherent right to life. This shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life". International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Policeman Kashif Manzor- Killed by Protestors

Civil Servant Farouk Albloushi- Killed by Protestors

Human Right Violation # 2 (Children Rights):

      Article 25.(2) : Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection
Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young. Some of the rights enforced is of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from "abuse".
Law:  "The child must be in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation". The Declaration of the Rights of the Child, UN

Little Children Holding "Down with Regime" Sign (Left)

 Young Boy throwing bricks at Police (Right)


Children sitting in front of car, carrying "Down Minister of Education" Sign (Left)
Child wearing a Martyr's outfit with Paint blood spilt on it as a symbol of Martyrdom (Right)


Child holding a Horrific Sign (Left)
Child wearing a head band with "Ask God for Martyrdom" (Right)

Innocent Children pushed into violence and politics 


·      Human Right Violation # 3 (Right to Healthcare):

     Article 25. (1): Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

       The right to health is the economic, social and cultural right to the highest attainable standard of health. It is recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The United Nations further defined the right to health in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1966. The Covenant guarantees the "right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health".

Law: "To respect the right to health by refraining from direct violations, such as systemic discrimination within the health system". UN Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Source: UN Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Doctor holding the Quran to bless the protestors in case of Martyrdom at Salmaniya Hospital

Protestors getting blessings from Doctor to proclaim "Martyrdom" at Hospital
 Protestors gathering in front of Salmaniya Hospital after taking in Hostages
 Salmaniya Hospital- Doctors and Nurses Lockers with Nasrallah and Hezbollah Stickers on them

Protestors camping at Salmaniya Hospital calling for Civil Disobedience

Political Messages stuck on Hospital Doors and Walls urging political protests

·      Human Right Violation # 6 (Right to Safety):

·        Article 5. : No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  

       Right to people's safety is a basic human right that we are born with. We live in the 21st century with rights protecting humanity, thus torturing, cruelty or any kind of degrading treatment will not go unpunished before the law. In Bahrain's recent protest, the rioters have taken Naturalized citizens and migrant workers hostage where they have treated them in the most inhuman way possible. To illustrate that, look at the photos below.
Law: "Each State Party shall take legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any under its jurisdiction". United Nations Convention Against Torture



Migrant Workers tortured and harmed in a degrading manner by the Protestors.

·      Human Right Violation # 4 (Right to Equality & Anti-Discrimination):

·        Article 1. : All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

·        Article 7. : All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.  

Equality before the law or legal egalitarianism is the principle under which each individual is subject to the same laws, however the protestors in Bahrain have taken a discriminatory swerve by calling people "Naturalized" and acting inferior towards them. Schools have seen the hitting of Sunni "Naturalized" Bahraini's by Shittes.
Law: "All are equal before the law and are entitles without any discrimination to equal protection of the law". UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Shia students hitting a bullying a lone girl for being "Naturalized"

Teacher incites students about "Naturalization"

Boys shouting "All Naturalized people leave Bahrain" at School

·       Human Right Violation # 5 (Right to Education):

Article 26. (1): Everyone has the right to education. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
The right to education is recognized as a basic human right. Education in Bahrain has been stopped for over 2-3 weeks during the times of the protests in Bahrain and despite parents sending their children to school, only they are forced back to their homes because the teachers were on strike, not allowing the children to complete their basic right of education that has been supplied by the government of Bahrain free of charge from primary to secondary level, in addition to the terrorism that the protestors were in charge of at the University of Bahrain, which caused the students to be scared and forced the closing of the national University.
Law: “The Right to education encompasses also the obligation to eliminate discrimination at all levels of the educational system, to set minimum standards and to improve quality”. United Nations

School Girls protesting during school hours, carrying signs that say "Excuse me School, but I will not attend until you teach about the fall of Al Khalifa government in books".


School girls during school hours protesting, denying the basic right of education for the other students.


·      Human Right Violation # 5 (Right to Free Movement- Against Encroachment):

·        Article 13.(1) : Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.
·        Article 13.(2): Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

Encroachment: An illegal intrusion in a highway or navigable river, with or without obstruction. An encroachment upon street or highway is a fixture, such as a wall or fence, which illegally intrudes into or invades the highway or encloses a portion of it, diminishing its width or area. Freedom of movement, mobility rights is a human rights concept that the constitutions of numerous countries respect. It asserts that a citizen of a state, in which that citizen is present has the liberty to travel, reside in, and/or in any part of the state where one pleases within the limits of respect for liberty and rights of others.

Law: Breaching of the Peace: as offence against public order causing an unnecessary disturbance of the peace.

Protestors have placed barracades in the most prominent highway leading to the capital city, Manama not allowing people to head to their jobs, in or out of the city or run their day to day errands.

 The protestors have placed numerous bricks to barracade the roads and limit activity and mobility.
 The placing of barbwires and obstacles by the protestors in the middle of the road to limit peoples' activity. 
 The protestors have used their cars as barracades to take control of the major highway in Manama.

 More images of the protestors while limiting access of the highway.

The placement of dump trucks in the middle of the highway again for the same reasons.

Bahrain's government moral compass has been intact throughout, as it has been patient with the protestors demands until they have pushed the security boundaries of Bahraini civilians in a blind pursuit of an Iranian led "coup", which encouraged a new wave of human rights abuse by the protestors, that made way to these alarming violations.  As a nation, Bahrain was never one to be obsessed with force or weapons, however the nations own children, have pulled out real weapons of discrimination, racism, uncontrolled trade in small arms, child abuse, violence and torture against its people. Though the country has been lenient in the past, this time, these violations will not go unaddressed.

Note: Many thanks to nalsowaidi for providing several of the photographs.