Bahrain Prime Minister Assures Safety of Filipino workers

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A March 18, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Philippine Embassy in Manama reported that Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa assured Philippine Ambassador Corazon Yap-Bahjin and four other ambassadors with significant worker populations of the safety of their nationals in the country in light of increased tensions.
Ambassador Corazon Yap-Bahjin reported that Prime Minister Al-Khalifa met with herself and the ambassadors of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Thailand Thursday.
The Prime Minister assured them that the Bahraini Government respects the rights of all foreigners and will protect them from anyone who will inflict harm.
He also added that Bahrain invited foreigners to work in their country and appreciates their contribution.
Ambassador Bahjin affirmed that there are no Filipino injuries or fatalities due to increased tensions in Bahrain.
“As of this time, the Embassy team has not received any reports of Filipinos injured or dead due to the crackdown of protesters in the Pearl Roundabout,” the Ambassador said.  She added that security forces are not singling out foreigners.
An Embassy team went to the Awali Hotel where seven Filipinos were allegedly trapped, according to earlier reports.  However, the team found the hotel empty.
The Embassy is operating 24/7 to address the concerns of Filipinos in Bahrain.  It is in constant contact with Filipino community members, and the Embassy officers and staff have disseminated their mobile numbers to them for immediate information and coordination.
The Bahraini government has imposed a 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew in areas where protests have been held.  This was then shortened to 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The Embassy earlier urged Filipinos to restrict its movements to the necessary, stock up on basic necessities, have important documents ready and avoid joining or being in areas of protest.
It has also asked Filipinos to remain calm, actively monitor ongoing developments, keep their communications lines open with the Embassy and their designated community coordinators, and inform the Embassy or Filipino community coordinators assigned to their area of their whereabouts.
As early as February 17, the Embassy has closely monitored developments in the country, and has met with the Filipino community leaders in the country to orient them of the Embassy’s contingency plans.
The Embassy’s hotline numbers are: (973) 17721234, (973) 17740951 and (973) 17721908.