The pride of Manchester,Tameside’s MPs praised for their united front against City’s owners
Thursday 24th November 2016 17:30 News Posted by Nigel P.

 

Angela Rayner had no hesitation in signing up to the letter sent by Human Rights Watch to Manchester City's owners in support of increased resect for democracy and rights in the United Arab Emirates.

Angela Rayner had no hesitation in signing up to the letter sent by Human Rights Watch to Manchester City’s owners in support of increased resect for democracy and rights in the United Arab Emirates. As did her colleagues Andrew Gwynne and Jonathan Reynolds.(Below)

“We should be proud” is the verdict of leading Human Rights campaigner Nicolas McGeehan of all three of our Tameside’s MPs.

The MPs  came in for special praise recently from the Human Rights Watch executive, for their unanimous support of a letter, appealing to the United Arab Emirates to release a pro democracy politician currently imprisoned in the country.

Human Rights Watch and other rights groups including Amnesty International, mounted a campaign to coincide with the Peterloo Massacre in August to highlight the imprisonment of Mohamed al Roken and other serious abuses of Human Rights.

The rights campaigners targeted the ruling Al Zayhan family through their ownership of Manchester City Football Club and highlighted other issues such as the system of  Kafala and lack of women rights and Kafala.

Kafala is the system that sees millions of workers come from poor countries such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to work in construction and as domestic workers for Emirati families.

 

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Often the foreign workers are badly treated and are viewed as little more than slaves by their employees.

At a meeting to review the impact and success of the campaign in Manchester recently McGeehan said:“The fact that all three of Tameside’s MPs signed the letter in support of the release of the Emirati human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Roken] is something their constituents should be proud of, especially when compared to the very disappointing response from councillors, mayoral candidates – none of whom signed – and the rest of Greater Manchester’s MPs. Greater Manchester’s elected officials had an opportunity to use their influence and make a simple call to the Emirati officials who run Manchester City to release an unjustly imprisoned lawyer. It’s easy to talk about values and what the area stands for, it’s another thing to actually stand up for those values and Tameside’s MPs have shown the difference in this case.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP for Salford and Eccles and Graham Stringer  MP for Blackley and Broughton were the only other Greater Manchester MPs to support then Peterloo Appeal to Manchester City’s owners.

Below are first hand testimonies of former foreign workers of their experience as foreign workers in the UAE.

 

Shelly A., a Filipina worker, said her employer forced her to work under threat of physical abuse. Her employer paid her only for the first three months, then withheld her salary but made her sign receipts to say she had received her full salary. Her employer also took her passport, confined her to the house, and beat her, telling her, “If you had done work then we won’t hit you.”
Sabina S., a Filipina worker, said her employer made her work 20 hours a day with no breaks, 7 days a week, for a family of 12. She verbally and physically abused Sabina, took her passport and phone, and confined her in the house.

 

Sabina told Human Rights Watch:
Madam said, “When you finish your contract we will pay.” After two years I asked for my money. But madam lost my passport. She said, “You have to wait until passport is claimed [processed]. I will give you money when you are leaving.”
Sabina was not paid for the two years and seven months she worked and was still waiting to receive her salary when she spoke to Human Rights Watch.
Tahira S., an Indonesian worker, said her employer locked her inside the woman’s home, shouted at, beat her, and broke a bone in her arm. The employer confiscated Tahira’s passport, made her work 15 hours each day without rest periods or days off, made her sleep on the floor with no blanket or mattress, gave her food only once a day and withheld it if her work was not deemed satisfactory. The employer promised to pay her only at the end of her contract, but then paid her nothing. Tahira told Human Rights Watch:
My boss started hitting me after two weeks of being there. Even though she hit me every day I wanted to wait for my salary. I thought if I waited three months I could get the money. She hit me with her fist to my chest. She scraped her fingernails to my neck, and slapped my face. I was bruised on my neck. She sometimes pulled out tufts of my hair.