2008 / 1 / 20
For an international campaign to defend the rights of foreign workers in Arab gulf countries
Millions of foreign workers in Arab gulf countries are deprived of their basic rights not only as workers but also as human beings . They are simply manipulated by their local bosses , forced to work for longer hours ; under the constant threat that they might not receive their wages or receive less by their bosses who are always protected by the national and local authorities . On the top of that , they are openly humiliated and abused verbally and even physically by their bosses and any local citizen . In the case of housemaids it is very known that they are sexually abused , simply used as double workers : they are also used to give pleasure to their boss in a very conservative closed society where native females are forced to cover all their bodies including their faces . It is well-known that even young local males are wickedly fond of abusing these poor creatures , and that these people has no opportunity to defend themselves or their rights or to ask for justice . President George Bush had visited the region just few days back, enjoyed the warm welcome from the kings , princes and sheikhs ; he did not disturb his hosts about such a silly issue , he was busy threatening Iran . Like in Iraq , the main issue for him was oil . Since 1979 , Iranian oil was out of the control of the American and most western companies , this is what makes Mr. Bush angry today . In fact , there is hardly any difference between the two regimes on the both sides of the gulf regarding the liberties of both national and foreign individuals . The religious police exercises unlimited authority upon everyone outside the ruling elite in both countries , they are authorized to observe the conduct of everyone and to use force to punish any behavior that does not comply with their dogmas ; and in Saudia Arabia , women are not allowed to drive their own cars , they even do not have identity card , simply they do not exist . But Mr. Bush did not pay any attention to the misery of millions of national and foreign individuals . Instead he indulged his hosts , opted to keep his silence when it is about ordinary people lives , and to speak openly , even loudly , when oil is at stake . This leaves this issue to the be raised by the progressive people of the world , who , opposite to the attitude of Mr. Bush , cares for human beings more than the profit of oil companies or the multi-billion arm deals with the Gulf regimes . It is very important to practice pressure on the Arab Gulf governments to pass new legislations about the rights of foreign workers and on the governments of the origins of these workers to negotiate fair deals with the Gulf states regarding the rights of their workers , like the fair minimum wages , work holidays and other work conditions . And to force the Gulf governments to release all the foreign workers , especially housemaids , who killed their bosses trying to protect themselves . But most important is to make sure that the local bosses and authorities will abide by any of these legislations or agreements .
An Arab human rights activist