As one of Bahrain Polytechnic expelled students I feel honored to be one among hundreds of others who have been expelled from Bahraini institutions of higher education for their political views and opinion.
“Bahraini civil rights will stay in the academic spotlight this week.At its annual meeting in Washington, the Middle East Studies Association will give its 2011 Academic Freedom Award to the faculty and staff members and students at Bahraini institutions of higher education. In a statement that will accompany the award, the association said that hundreds of academics “have been dismissed, arrested, humiliated, and tortured during detention; some have been required to sign loyalty oaths; others have had their scholarships withdrawn.” – The chronicle
This news comes one week before the 6 month anniversary of my expulsion. On the 12 of June 2011, I was the first student to get expelled from Bahrain Polytechnic. Just like many others, my story has some interesting facts. For instance, I was sent to Minnesota- USA on a women leadership program (a scholarship funded by the US State Department) from the period of: the end of January 2010 till the beginning of March 2011, which is the beginning and the peak of the protests that took place in Bahrain. That fact did not help much in convincing the investigation committee at Bahrain Polytechnic that I had a minor participation in the protests (not that protesting in general is a wrong thing) let a long any violence act. They ignored my right of freedom of speech and opinion (just like many other students) by printing my facbook history of posts and comments, and asked me to give reasons, explanations and justifications for writing them. The fact that no violence act did ever take place at Bahrain Polytechnic also did not help preventing the administration from forming the investigation committee where we were dragged to one after another to be questioned and humiliated as a punishment for our political views on the situation of our beloved country, nor did it help stopping them from getting us expelled and treated like criminals by escorting us off campus using the campus security vehicles.
After a series of lies and false promises of reinstating all the expelled students, 38 students from University of Bahrain and 31 others from Bahrain Polytechnic remain expelled. To be honest, I do not know about University Bahrain but what I know is that all those who were reinstated to Bahrain Polytechnic had to sign pledges and were given warnings that are controversial like: not participating in any political activity of any shape or form. Therefore, the risk of getting expelled again remains high. On a personal level, I am one of the 31 students who have not been reinstated to study at Bahrain Polytechnic. I am no longer interested in studying there especially under that administration. However, I am eager to get my right back.
Throughout this blog, I sent a number of messages to different people whom are related to our case in a letter form. Only one of them responded, which is Mr Khalid Ahmed, an investor in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. He refused to give me his permission when I asked to publish his response and told me that had he know I published the letter I sent to him he would not have even responded to my email. Perhaps the information he told me in his response would cause problems to committee if published, I do not really know. However, the letter that had the largest number of views and responses from the public was the letter I sent throughout my blog and facebook to John Scott, the CEO of Bahrain Polytechnic. People were shocked that he did not reply back to me but I was not surprised at all. I did not and still do not expect any reply from him because I know for a fact that whatever response he will give will not undo all the troubles we all went and still going through because of the expulsion, nor it would help healing our hurt in dignity and pride due to the fact that half year have passed on the incident. Basically, any response from him will be too little and too late.
Today, on this special occasion (the award) I wonder, If many students were expelled just for visiting the pearl roundabout, and if going there was a crime, why there was not any similar action taken against John Scott? He too was spotted there BY THE SAME STUDENTS whom were expelled for going there!
I am not interested in causing him any problems and I surly do not hate him. I just wonder how many standards are followed when it comes the students case?
I demand the immediate restraince of all the expelled students. It is our right and we shall get it back.
Note: I did not take the pictures. And for all those who will start shouting it’s fabricated, it’s not. The original ones were sent to me in their original size but it has been reduced for internet speed matter.
The first letter I wrote to John Scott: