Today I begin publishing correspondence relating to the dispute between myself and my former employers, the University of Bahrain.
The rationale for this is:
- The correspondence shows the UoB to be in gross violation of international norms of academic freedom and best practice
- Exposing the UoB’s dealings with me might help others in Bahrain who have been victimized by the UoB but cannot speak out
- Exposing the UoB’s dealings with me should stand as a warning to any individual or Higher Education Institution contemplating a relationship with state-sector Bahrain institutions
- Publication of correspondence relating to my case might help all victims of the UoB obtain just compensation for their suffering, an important part of any meaningful reconciliation process in Bahrain.
I begin by publishing the 22nd June letter sent to me in response to my May 18th resignation letter. I’ve written to the UoB and the Ministry of Education four times since receiving this letter, and to the British Ambassador to Bahrain once, and have never had the courtesy of a reply.
The letter published below states two reasons for the UoB not accepting my resignation (and therefore depriving me of a substantial sum in end-of-contract settlements):
- Surveillance of my Internet activity (page 2)
- Unauthorized absence from campus (page 2)
The first reason is a clear violation of academic freedom, and helps to confirm complaints from Bahraini students and faculty regarding surveillance of an interference with their personal communications. For the record, my posts during the February-March 2011 uprising fall well within the bounds of fair comment, rather than the “sectarian and political activity” mentioned on page 2.
In response to the second reason, my absence was in accordance with FCO advice at the time. Further, I shall tomorrow publish further details of the medical notes relating to my absence. I’ll note for the time being that the Bahrain Ministry of Health to whom I was supposed to report was at that time actively complicit in the detention and torture of patients and medical staff.