Bahrain teachers’ trial and Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary

September 6, 2011

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(AP/Hasan Jamali)
In Diraz, Bahrain, Muslims chant slogans for the release of political prisoners arrested in the government's recent crackdown.

In March, the Bahraini government initiated a deadly crackdown on Shiite-led protests against the ruling regime. Backed by Saudi-led troops, security forces squashed the demonstrations. The government opposition says they lost 30 people to the unrest.

Beth Ann Toupin, Bahrain and Iraq Country Specialist for Amnesty International - USA, has followed the crackdown closely. She has been paying particular attention to the story of two Bahraini teachers who were detained and are now on trial for their involvement in pro-reform protests. Now, the teachers are both are on hunger strike. Beth explains how their resistance fits into the larger context of protesters' struggle against Bahrain's government.

We also speak to David Safran, a local folk singer who will perform at Amnesty International's upcoming anniversary concert in Chicago. The event, “A Toast to Freedom: A Benefit Concert Honoring Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary,” celebrates the organization's history of fighting human rights violations.