PROTEST ARRESTS OF NATIONAL TRADE UNION LEADERS IN ZIMBABWE:
As the country of Zimbabwe slowly and painfully stumbles towards its second round of presidential elections the ruling class behind Robert Mugabe continues its campaign of terror in hopes of intimidating just enough people to squeak out a victory. One of the principal targets of the government's terror is Zimbabwe's labour movement. Here is a report and appeal for protest about the May 8 arrest of Lovemore Motombo and Wellington Chibebe of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. The appeal is from the international union federation, the IUF. To read more about this campaign and to participate go to http://www.iuf.org/den5010 .
Protest Arrests of National Trade Union Leaders in Zimbabwe
In the ongoing post-election repression of the democracy movement and workers and trade unionists in particular, Lovemore Motombo and Wellington Chibebe, respectively President and General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) were arrested on May 8 and charged with "inciting people to rise against the government and reporting falsehoods about people being killed’ for speaking out on May Day about the country's political crisis and the growing repression of the opposition to Mugabe.
The IUF and unions internationally are calling for messages to the government of Zimbabwe demanding their immediate and unconditional release. In view of the extreme violence which has been frequently inflicted on union leaders and activists, the IUF considers the government responsible for the physical safety and well being of the arrested ZCTU leaders.
You can fax a message to the government of Zimbabwe at the number indicated in the sample message below. We also encourage copies to the embassy of Zimbabwe in your country (a list of embassies is available online at http://zw.embassyinformation.com/?einfo). Please send copies of any messages you might send to the IUF secretariat.
Sample Message to President Mugabe
To: Mr. Robert G. Mugabe,
President , Republic of Zimbabwe
Fax: + 2126.96.36.199.58
Dear President Mugabe,
Concerns: ZCTU leadership arrested
I have been informed of the arrests, on 8 May, of Lovemore Motombo and Wellington Chibebe, President and General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). It is my understanding that the two are charged with "inciting people to rise against the government and reporting falsehoods about people being killed’, i.e. exercising the right to freedom of speech which is guaranteed them under international law and, in their capacity as trade union officials, the Conventions of the United Nations' ILO. We therefore call on your government to immediately and unconditionally release these two detained trade union leaders. In view of past violence against arrested and detained trade unionists, we hold your government responsible for their physical integrity and well being
cc: the embassy of Zimbabwe in your country