Rula Al’Saffar, president of the Bahrain Nursing Society, was to have presented a seminar at the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association in February but has been unable to get a visa in time.
In 2011, Rula was incarcerated and tortured by the Bahrain government after treating protestors injured during anti-government uprisings (part of the Arab Spring). The Vice-President of the Bahrain Nursing Society remains in jail.
Since being acquitted in June 2012, Rula has been travelling the world campaigning for the release of her colleagues and to raise awareness about the ongoing challenges for health professionals in Bahrain.
Rula’s initial visa application was rejected and despite efforts on her behalf by Federal MP Laurie Ferguson, Senator Lee Rhiannon and Amnesty International, the second visa application has not been approved in time for her speaking tour.
Rula remains adamant however that she will speak in Australia at a later date.
Seven health workers remain in jail in Bahrain for treating injured protesters.
Protests are continuing in Bahrain and have been intensifying around the anniversary of the crackdown, Thursday 14 February. The two key demands of these protests are to free political prisoners (currently over 500 detained) and the democratic election of a Prime Minister.
The Bahraini Australia Youth Movement is hosting a press conference at Federal Parliament House today Wednesday 13 February to announce solidarity initiatives, including the preparation of federal motions for the Senate and House of Representatives condemning the ongoing human rights violations and promoting the Australian Nursing Federation’s Bahrain Solidarity Campaign.
ANF Bahrain Solidarity
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