A video that perhaps highlight the plight of many Asian migrant workers in Middle East countries – those suffering at the hands of abusive locals – has been drawing outrage.
The clip shows a poor Indian worker receiving a hard slap from a man later identified as a local for still unknown reasons, while voices in the background can be heard mocking the victim.
The video titled ‘Bahraini slaps worker’ was uploaded on You Tube early this month and went viral; sparking a backlash not only from among Bahrainis themselves, but also from many Arabic countries in the Middle East.
Outrage over the incident has prompted the Bahraini government to take action and arrest the men in the video.
No less than the country’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmad al-Khalifa, expressed his disdain at the suspect and support for the Asian worker on Twitter. He wrote: “He came all the way from his country, putting up with estrangement and separation from family to work so hard for some money.”
“And then, a despicable person comes along and slaps him. May God grant him his rights from the aggressor,” Khalifa added.
Locals who have watched the clip also twitted their indignation at their abusive countrymen who didn’t seem to realize how their lives could end up without the migrant workers.
“These workers that you laugh at are the reason why you have a roof over your head,” one said.
“This despicable notion that migrant workers are inferior has to be eradicated from a civilized society…” wrote another angry Twitter user.
Latest reports from the local media said at least four men were arrested in the city of Riffa over the incident, including the attacker and the men filming and mocking the worker.
Migrant workers make up 77% of Bahrain’s total workforce who are often subjected to various types of exploitations and abuses such as unpaid wages, passport confiscation, unsafe housing, excessive work hours, physical abuse and forced labor.
According to Human Rights Watch, Bahrain is home to about 460,000 migrant workers as of 2012 with majority of them coming from Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.
Watch the viral video below: