Ann Clwyd MP, the Prime Ministers Special Envoy to Iraq on Human Rights and an LFIQ President has successfully challenged an inaccurate BBC report (see below).
Ann told the BBC that “We have well-established contacts with the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), who inform us that the person arrested was the leader of the General Federation of Iraqi Trade Unions (GFITU). We have reason to believe that this organisation is a newly formed version of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), which was the Ba’athist so-called ‘union’ organised by the Saddam Hussein regime.” The BBC has acknowledged its error and altered the report.
The original BBC report read as follows:
Iraqi trade union federation calls for release of head
Text of report by Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya TV on 3 June. The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions [IFTU] has issued a statement protesting against the arrest by the Iraqi police of IFTU head Jabbar Tarish al-Darraji. Trade union members said that the manner of arrest was similar to the practices followed by the former Iraqi regime. [IFTU spokesman – recording] The Federation strongly condemns this act, which is meant to create conflict among several unions, which has nothing to do with union work. The manner of the storming and arrest
takes us back in time to what the defunct regime used to do. This is because the manner of arrest shows disrespect for the sanctity of the headquarters of the federation, which represents the proletariat in Iraq.
The arrest constitutes a dangerous and unprecedented act against the activity of the unions and civil society organizations. Hence, we appeal to all political forces and civil society organizations to immediately intervene to secure the release of the head of the federation. We call for such acts not to be repeated in the future in order to achieve democratic and independent progress in union work, and have a free and democratic civil society that serves Iraq and the
[Signed] Executive Bureau of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions.
Source: Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1414 gmt 3 Jun 05