Solidarity with Iraqi Trade Unions
Continued detention of media workers
The TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written, again, to His Excellency Mr Abdulmuhaimen Al-Oreibi, Charge d'Affaires at the Iraqi Embassy to voice the TUC's outrage about their repressive practices and call for their immediate release.
Firas Ali, an Iraqi political activist, was detained by the armed forces at the office of the Federation of Workers' Councils and Union in Iraq (FWCUI), on 13 April whilst protestor, Haidar Shihab Ahmad Adbel Latif is also believed to have been detained on 1 April 2011 on Tahrir square in Baghdad. Their whereabouts are unknown and we remain gravely concerned for their safety.
Read http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE14/022/2011/en/dceeffb1-0064-4320-b5bf-e33b015724d7/mde140222011en.pdf for further information on Firas Ali and Haider Shihab Ahmad Adbel Latif, and for further information on trade unions rights in Iraq, see the ITUC Annual Survey on Violations
HE Mr Abdulmuhaimen Al-Oreibi
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
4 Elvaston Place
London SW7 5QH
Dear Mr Al-Oreibi,
Detained and missing protestors at risk of torture
Following my letter to you of 7 March 2011 concerning the detention of media workers, I am writing to you again to express my alarm at the continuing arrests and likely torture of protestors in Iraq. I call for their immediate release, and an end to these repressive practices.
This time, Firas Ali, an Iraqi political activist, was detained by the armed forces at the office of the Federation of Workers' Councils and Union in Iraq (FWCUI), at about 2pm on 13 April. A protestor, Haidar Shihab Ahmad Adbel Latif is also believed to have been detained on 1 April 2011 on Tahrir square in Baghdad. Their whereabouts are unknown and we remain gravely concerned for their safety.
I call on the Iraqi government to immediately investigate and/or reveal the whereabouts of both Firas and Haidar and release them. I urge the authorities to ensure that they are not subject to torture and that all allegations of torture are thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. I call on the Iraqi government to stop intimidating its citizens, and to respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association and expression.
My letter is part of a global urgent action appeal, being spear-headed by Amnesty International - a clear sign of the global outrage at these repressive practices. Should such practices continue, the Iraqi government risks seriously tarnishing its reputation, particularly at a time when people from across the region are calling for dignity, human rights and for their voices to be heard.
I look forward to a positive update on progress.
Issued: 20 April, 2011