Stop crackdown on Iraqi protestors says TUC
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has today written to the Iraqi Charge D'Affaires in London expressing alarm at the recent violent crackdown against demonstrators by the Government of Iraq, and the disappearance and likely detention of four media workers.
10 March 2011
The Honourable Mr Abdulmuhaimen Al-Oraibi
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, UK
Dear Mr Al-Oraibi
Violent crackdown on Iraqi media workers and demonstrators
On behalf of the TUC, its 55 affiliated trade unions and the 6.1 million workers that they represent, I writing to express alarm at the recent violent crackdown against journalists and demonstrators by the Government of Iraq. I urge your government to end the repression, immediately release those detained, and to bring to justice those responsible for the violence.
I am particularly shocked to learn that four young media workers who left Baghdad's Tahrir square at midday on 7 March 2011 have not been heard of since. They are thought to have been arrested, but their families have been unable to contact them. Their names are: Maan Thamer Ismail, Ali Saihood, Ali Abd-Al Zahra, and Mohammed Khadim Finjan. I call on the Iraqi Government to immediately release them. I am copying this letter to the British Embassy in Baghdad, who is also looking into their cases.
I am deeply worried by the increasingly repressive actions of the Iraqi Government against its own people. These actions are seriously damaging Iraq's international reputation and only risk causing deeper conflict. Instead I call on the Iraqi Government to engage in peaceful dialogue with the demonstrators, to let journalists operate in freedom and in safety, and to respect the right of all workers to join and bargain through independent and democratic trade unions.
It has been eight years since the fall of Saddam's regime, yet its repressive labour laws are still in place. I call on the Iraqi Government to respect the call of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers and immediately implement a fair, just and ILO-compliant labour law. I look forward to your update on progress in this regard, and on all the concerns in this letter.
Issued: 10 March, 2011