Thursday, March 05, 2009

The following appeal is from the US based US Labor Against the War website. It concerns the case of Himyar Salih Iqaal, the leader of the Iraqi Agricultural Workers Union who was recently arrested by the Iraqi government because of his union activities.
Authorities Arrest the Leader of Agricultural Workers Union:

This disturbing news (see below) arrived today from the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI).

Please contact the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC, and copy Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, and the International Labour Organization of the U.N. to register your strong protest. Demand that Himyar Salih Iqaal be immediately released and that no harm come to him. (Find contact information below.)

*Actions such as this that harass and terrorize trade unionists are a gross
violation of human rights and international law, including the conventions on
the rights of workers of the International Labour Organization of the U.N.
Iraq is a signatory to Convention 98 on the rights to organize and
*The new Iraqi constitution calls for the adoption of a basic labor law
that protects workers' rights. The Parliament has failed to adopt such a
*The Maliki government continues to enforce Saddam Hussein's
anti-union laws and decrees adopted by the U.S. occupation authority and interim
governing authority after the overthrow of the dictatorship.

Iraq cannot claim to be on the path to a real democracy so long as workers are not free to organize, bargain and strike without government harassment, interference or control.

PS: Kindly send copies of your communications to

and Falah Alwan, President, FWCUI

On the noon of Wednesday February 25, 2009 an armed force in three vehicles attacked the house of Himyar Salih Iqaal, the leader of agricultural workers' union of FWCUI. The arrest took place in Al Dubouni district, about 70 kms south of Baghdad.

The armed force which broke into the house shattered the glass of the windows into pieces and left the furniture in a mess.

The family of Himyar says that the patrol cars looked like the "emergency forces" cars - called Al Tawari'e in Iraq.

A few months ago, Himiyar was appointed as the leader of the agricultural workers after taking upon himself the task of redistribution of the land on the agricultural workers. The land had been seized by the semi-feudal who used their authority to confiscate vast parts of the southern lands in Iraq. Himyar informed the agricultural workers about their rights to land which they should seize by themselves(All power to THIS idea-Molly).

We call for immediate release for Himyar, and the full responsibility of the authorities for the safety of Himyar.We call for the workers' organizations to stand strongly with Himyar.

Long live the workers' demands

Long live freedom and equality

Workers' Media Center
Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq FWCUI
February 27, 2009
Samir Sumaida'ie, Ambassador
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
3421 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-742-1600 X136
Fax: 202/299-9833 // 202-462-8813 // 202-462-5066
Hillary Clinton, Secretary
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Phone: 202-647-9572
International Labour Organization
Washington Office
FAX: 202-653-7687

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