Female Bahraini students suffer persecution in Dammam say rights group
Story Code : 182777
The rights group also criticized Bahrain regime for its systematic torturing and unlawful imprisoning of activists and opposition militants, citing as example the case of activist Mohammed al-Tajer. Moreover, it noted the government of Bahrain was abusing and repressing the lives of its people well beyond what was humanly acceptable, stressing all Bahraini citizens had had their lives changed for the worse as a result.
In regards to female medical students in Dammam, the group established in its report that Zeinab Mohamed Al-Marzouk, Alaa Sayed Shebr Mohsen Majid, and Zahraa Salman Mohammed, had been granted scholarships to enroll at Dammam medical college, a former branch King Faisal University, based on their exceptional grade, back in February of 2011.
Zeinab Sayed al-Marzouq and Alaa Sayed were in the last quarter of their sixth year – about to graduate – when they were pulled out and Zahraa Salman Mohammed was in her fifth academic year.
When unrest erupted in Bahrain, the students were prevented from living the campus to visit their families during the weekends. Zeinab al-Marzouq Sayed and Alaa Sayed however managed to travel back to Bahrain for the weekend to see her parents as always. Zahraa Salman preferred to stay behind, worried she would not be allowed back in Dammam to sit for her exam.
On March 21st, all three students were asked to pack up their belongings and immediately leave Saudi Arabia, without being given any explanation.
According to the students’ testimony, an alleged 50 armed masked Saudi policemen were waiting for them in their apartments.
The girls were then forced into a car and officers switched off their mobile phone while speeding off on the highway toward the police station.
According to written testimony submitted to the Human Rights Organization by the Saudi authorities at the time, the students had lost their scholarships and invalidated their school years. To make matters worse the Saudi authorities alleged that the young female students had to face justice as to answer for their crimes, which they said could lend them life sentences.
The Saudi District Attorney established in statement that the student had been accused of inciting and organizing anti-regime protests in Dammam, circulating false and misleading information to foreign television channels about Bahrain and events there.
All three students – Zainab Alaa and Zahra -- spent three weeks in jail while awaiting for the Saudi police to gather evidence against them to substantiate the case.
Since nothing was found, the Bahraini government agreed to drop the charges under the condition that the accused signed a statement declaring their loyalty to the Kingdom of Bahrain and their unwavering allegiance to the regime. They were let go as suddenly as they had been arrested.
The right organization explained that since they were free, the students decided to return to Dammam, determined to resume their studies and not let go of all their hard work, only to be arrested by the Saudi authorities and deported back to Bahrain. The three students said that what they were hoping for now was to complete their studies and become physician, not matter what university, in Bahrain or abroad.
They said that they’d hoped one day they would be able to establish an organization which would protect medical students from illegal detention and all other human rights violations.