ICFTU OnLine – May 30, 2006

Brussels, 30 May 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): In the latest brutal attack against the Iraqi trade union movement, the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) has reported the kidnapping and murder of Thabet Hussein Ali, Head of the General Trade Union for Health Sector Workers, on April 27. Ali was taken by a terrorist group as he was leaving his union’s headquarters in Baghdad’s Al-Mansour neighborhood.

His body was found the next day riddled with gunshot wounds and showing evidence of brutal torture including by an electric drill.

The ICFTU expresses its deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Thabet Hussein Ali, and supports the GFIW’s demand that the Iraqi Authorities launch a comprehensive investigation into the wave of assassinations and kidnappings of trade unionists. Those responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice. Respect for workers’ rights to trade union organisation and representation is an essential foundation for building democracy and for the proper functioning of Iraq’s economy.