Eyewitness Iraq! – IFTU addresses trade unionists in Birmingham, UK

Birmingham City Hall, 27th January, 2004: Over 100 trade unionists and anti-war campaigners braved a cold Tuesday evening to attend a packed meeting jointly organised by Birmingham Trades Union Council and Birmingham Stop The War Coalition. A range of speakers addressed the continuing US/UK illegal occupation of Iraq and discussed proposals for organising solidarity with Iraqi trade unionists.
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IFTU representative Abdullah Muhsin with Birmingham TUC President

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Interview with Iraqi trade union leaders imprisoned by US troops.

On 6 December 2003 American occupation forces raided the headquarters of the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU).
US soldiers ransacked the building, destroyed IFTU documents, smashed windows, smeared the banner carrying the name of the IFTU outside the building with black paint and tore down union banners condemning terrorism. The raid ended with the arrest of eight IFTU leaders who were handcuffed and taken to the US military central command at Muthan airbase.
No explanations were given for this unjustified attack. It is a stark violation of human rights, which clearly contradicts the claims of the US administration that it seeks to promote democracy and end repression and violence in Iraq.
To find out what really happened, Tareeq Al Shaab interviewed four of the eight arrested IFTU leaders; Turkey Al Lehabey, Muhsin Mashkoor, Hussein Shfaait and Hussein Al Sudany. The IFTU here translates the interview.

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IFTU holds briefing at House of Commons in London

Representatives of the Iraqi Federation of Workers’ Trade Unions (IFTU)
held a highly successful briefing in the House of Commons on Wednesday
21st January to update parliamentarians on the current situation in
Iraq.
The meeting was addressed by Hadi Salih, the International Secretary of
the IFTU, during a two-day visit to the UK, which also included a
successful meeting with the TUC International Officer, Owen Tudor.

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Update on raid on IFTU HQ – still closed after a month

On 6 December 2003, the IFTU issued an statement condemning the attack by
American occupation military forces on its temporary headquarters (at the
headquarters of the Transport and Communication Union, in Karkh, Allawi Al
Hilla, Baghdad), which led to the arrest of 8 IFTU leaders who were later
released unharmed.
On 8 December 2003, the IFTU Executive Bureau sent a delegation to the Iraqi
Governing Council (IGC) and met Dr Mohammod Uthman, IGC member. The
delegation informed him in detail about the attack and handed him a
statement condemning this unjustified act and calling for compensation for
damages inflicted upon our colleagues and IFTU possessions.
The statement also demanded an apology from the local US military commander
who led the attack, and commitments that such act should never happen again
against an important organization of civil society. The statement also
reminded the American authorities not to listen to remnants of Saddam
regime.
Unfortunately, nothing has so far happened. Our head office is still closed.
The IGC did not do enough. Iraqi political parties and Iraqi public
personalities did not show solidarity and support with IFTU in these
difficult times.

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IFTU participates in Amman meeting called by ICFTU and ILO

The Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU) was invited to attend a meeting organized by both the ICFTU and the ILO in Jordan 17-18 December 2003 to discuss ways and means to help and support Iraqi trade unionists to build new, transparent and democratic unions in post Saddam?s dictatorship era . Mr Rasem Hussien Abdullah the president of the IFTU, its first vice president Mr Hadi Ali laftah and Sobhi Abdullah Hussien the general secretary represented the IFTU for the Jordan meeting. The presidents of both the Iraqi Teacher and Journalist Unions were also present at the meeting. Mr Jutiyar Norri Abdulla from the Syndicate Union of Kurdistan Workers was also represented at the meeting.

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IFTU welcomes capture of former dictator Saddam Hussein

At an emergency meeting of its Executive on 14 December 2003, the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU) congratulated the people of Iraq and the world on the capture of the bloody dictator and the manner in which he was caught in his burrow near Tikrit. We hope this will contribute to uniting the Iraqi people for a new, unified and democratic Iraq, which will end dictatorship forever. In order for Iraq to move forward, Saddam must be tried in Iraq and the truth must come out about his crimes and those he killed, whose memory we honour.

Teachers union calls for trial of Saddam Hussein

Welcoming the capture of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Teachers Union called for public trial of the former bloody dictator not only in order to discover the truth about those who disappeared but also to bring about a unified and democratic Iraq. The union specifically pointed to one of their members who disappeared on 23 May 1980, Hassun Ali Al-Mousawi, a secondary school teacher from Najaf — one of many thousands of honourable teachers who disappeared without trace.