Sunday, February 26, 2006

Crime, crime & more crime

Seems like all you read about lately, in the Bahrain English newspapers, is about some housemaid being physically abused, laborers being abused, someone being killed, houses being broken in to, or cold stors being robbed. When I came here three years ago and got the GDN ( daily, I don't remember reading about so much crime on the streets of Bahrain. As a foreigner/outsider - to some degree - I can only guess at what the "real" reasons are for so much crime in this country, but the truth seems to evade me, and even the police and/or authorities; for it seems that most of these cases go unsolved and/or the people responsible are never brought to justice, or if they are, they get charged and have to pay a very small amount of money or spend a very small amount of time in jail. Justice doesn't seem to prevail in this country, that's for sure.

About a year ago there was a Filipina woman that went missing here in Bahrain. Her daughter came here to find her, but she wasn't even allowed to go into her mother's apartment for months because the authorities wouldn't allow it. This woman's mobile phone, her passport and car keys were found, but she was gone - not to be seen again. I can't imagine losing my mother in this way - not knowing what happened, and not getting a lot of help from the right people. I wonder if this case will ever be solved.

Yesterday in the GDN and again today, there was and is a story about a Bahraini man who locked six Indian laborers in the back of a freezer truck for 24 hrs. over a visa dispute. If it weren't for a tip-off to the Indian Embassy, these men may have never been found. They were in an abandoned scrap yard in Hamad Town, locked in the back of this freezer truck (the freezer wasn't on... thank God for them). The same Bahraini man took another Indian guy, made him lie down and put a bathtub over him and then parked his jeep on top of the bathtub so the guy couldn't get out. He left him there over night, come to find out. All of this was done over visas and about who was working for who - it's being said that this Bahraini was mad because these guys weren't working for him, so I guess he wanted to teach them a lesson they'd never forget. I wonder what will happen to this Bahraini man for doing this. Maybe just a slap on the wrist. I mean, can you imagine how these laborers felt? For over 24 hours, they were locked in the back of this truck.... not knowing if someone would find them, if anyone knew that they were there. It must have been a nightmare for them, and what will they get for this? They were sent back to their flat/home in Manama and I'm sure they are back at work today.... sweating away for hours on end for a measly sum of money. And then what about the guy under the bathtub all night long, on the ground... not knowing what was going to happen to him. It's truly horrible.

I'm wondering who tipped off the Indian Embassy. Was it an Indian or a Bahraini? Thank God he had enough guts to do it, or these laborers would probably be dead. Thankfully it isn't summer here.

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