ICFTU statement on murdered Iraqi trade unionist

IRAQ: Murder of Executive Board member of General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW)
Ibrahim Jaafari
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
By fax: c/o Iraqi Embassy in Brussels:
TUR/FW 25 January 2006
Dear Prime Minister,
Murder of Executive Board member of General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW)
I am writing to protest at the murder of brother Alaa Issa Khalaf, Executive Board member of the GFIW, at 7:30 am today. Mr. Khalaf was shot by several unidentified men who were awaiting him outside his house in Bagdad when he left for work.
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), which represents more than 155 million workers through its 236 affiliates in 154 countries and territories, considers this to be a targeted attack on a trade union activist. On a separate matter, the ICFTU is also concerned at reports of government interference in union affairs, namely the GFIW-affiliated engineers’ and lawyers’ unions.
Mr. Prime Minister, as a member of the International labour Organisation (ILO), Iraq has an obligation to respect the fundamental labour standards established by Convention 87 on freedom of association, regardless of ratification. It is unacceptable that trade unionists should exercise their activities in a climate of violence, and it is your government’s responsibility to ensure security for trade unionists.
I therefore strongly urge you to ensure a full and immediate investigation is launched into the murder of Alaa Issa Khalaf, and that adequate steps are taken to provide security for trade unionists, so they can do their legitimate trade union work without having to fear for their security or their lives. Finally, I urge you to ratify ILO Convention 87 on the right to freedom of association.
Yours sincerely,
General Secretary