Bahrain expats benefit from ‘aid cell’
Manama, November 9, 2011
Hundreds of expatriates have been benefiting from a free legal advice service that either settled their court cases or helped stranded workers return home.
The team at the Expatriate Legal Aid Cell (Elac) is working round-the-clock to assist low-income workers and in the past few months resolved around 80 labour and criminal cases.
The lawyers also offer advice on compensation in case of death claims and accidental insurance in addition to legal agreements and contracts.
'We have handled a wide range of criminal and labour cases that has helped many workers,' said Bahraini lawyer Ahmed Al Ammari.
He said most of the workers called to inquire or complain about passport confiscation by their employers.
'Passport should remain with its holder and no one has the right to keep it or demand a fee to release it,' said Al Ammari.
'Most of the workers are affected with this rampant practice and we advise them to take legal steps to tackle the issue.'
Elac, located at the Exhibition Avenue, was set up in June this year to provide assistance to people in need, particularly low-income workers.
Lawyer Mohammed Karuvencheri, who is assisting Al Ammari, said they wanted foreign workers in Bahrain to benefit from the free legal advice, especially those who do not speak Arabic.
'We won judgment in some cases in addition to clearing about 50 criminal cases against workers,' said Karuvencheri.
He said that majority of the cases were related to labour issues, mainly settlement of wages, illegal possession of passports and cases filed by employers against their workers for other reasons. – TradeArabia News Service