Online Petition: Drop the Charges Against Iraqi Oil Union Leader!
Despite all the talk about fostering democracy and human rights in Iraq, workers there continue to be denied the right to freely organize trade unions and negotiate over the terms of their labor - just as they were under Saddam Hussein.
In the last two years, repression against unions has escalated. A wave of peaceful strikes has recently swept Iraq as workers seek to redress grievances and assert their rights. The response of the Al Maliki government has been to crack down on discontent with disciplinary action against union activists, and even criminal complaints against union leaders.
Recently the Ministry of Oil lodged a criminal complaint against Hassan Juma'a Awad, President of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions, claiming he was responsible for strikes in the oil industry.
If convicted, he could face stiff fines and five years in prison. He has been ordered to appear in court on April 7th to respond to charges leveled against him.
Persecution of union leaders for exercising rights promised by Iraq's constitution and protected under international treaty must not be allowed to stand unchallenged.
Please sign the Online petition
and ask others to sign too.