LFIQ Chair Dave Anderson MP has tabled a Commons motion backing TUC appeal for mobiles for Iraqi trade unions

TUC AND MOBILE PHONES FOR IRAQI TRADE UNIONS That this House notes that unions representing workers in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan face incredible challenges in defending working people and rebuilding democracy and that one of their requests for solidarity from British trade unionists is the provision of mobile phones, which are crucial for any union organiser but especially in Iraq, where travel can be dangerous and landlines are not sufficiently reliable or widespread; further notes that mobile phone handsets are expensive to buy in Iraq and that buying new ones could eat up scarce union resources, but that the Iraqi … Continue reading LFIQ Chair Dave Anderson MP has tabled a Commons motion backing TUC appeal for mobiles for Iraqi trade unions

Iraqi first lady warning on youth

The BBC reports that Hero Ibrahim Ahmad has warned that high unemployment levels in Iraq are making disaffected youths easy targets for extremists. The wife of President Jalal Talabani founded the Kurdistan Womens Association in 1989. She told a conference in London that I believe that if we are to genuinely try to end the misery and misfortunes of all of the people of Iraq, we must work together regardless of ethnic background, nationality or religion to achieve freedom of the individual and a respect for human rights and dignity equally for both women and men.

Building a civil society in Iraq

The New York Times examines the role of Iraqi charities in rebuilding civil society where , it says, small acts of pure altruism often go unnoticed but the outlines of a nascent civil society are taking shape. It says that since 2003 the government has registered 5,000 private organizations, including charities, human rights groups, medical assistance agencies and literacy projects. Officials estimate that an additional 7,000 groups are working unofficially.

Women, Gays & Secularism in Post-War Iraq

Solidarity with Iraqi gays, feminists, democrats and socialists Public meeting – Panel discussion, with Qs and As Friday 19 May 2006 7 – 9 pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, London WC1 (nearest tube Holborn) All Welcome Panellists include: Ali Hili of the Iraqi LGBT- UK group, Houzan Mahmoud of the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq and Peter Tatchell of OutRage! This event is a part of the International Day of Action Against Homophobia programme organised by GALHA, with the support of OutRage! and other LGBT groups. “We hated Saddam’s tyranny, but the situation for gay people in Iraq … Continue reading Women, Gays & Secularism in Post-War Iraq

Commons Motion on Labour Rights in Iraq

LFIQ Chair Dave Anderson has tabled the following Commons motion as a basis for the LFIQ campaign to support independent unions in Iraq That this House applauds the recent Labour Friends of Iraq delegation to Erbil and Sulamaniyah to meet unions, parties, and ministers from Iraqi Kurdistan as well as 22 union leaders from Baghdad, Basra and Babel; is concerned that Iraqi Ministers, through Decree 8750 of August 2005, have frozen the monies of unions including those affiliated to the Iraqi Workers’ Federation, leaving organisations which represent up to a million Iraqis and which are the bedrock of a non-sectarian … Continue reading Commons Motion on Labour Rights in Iraq

Harry Barnes recommends an English language newspaper from Iraqi Kurdistan

It is a month since our delegation from LFIQ returned from its visit to Iraqi Kurdistan. At our hotel in Suleimanieh, we picked up copies of issue No.4 of the newspaper SOMA, which is published in English and is subtitled “An Iraqi-Kurdish Digest”. It was a fascinating for us to read. To start with, in Erbil we had had an extensive question and answer session with Adnan Mufti the Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament. Now the paper had published its own interview with him. Mufti wasn’t restrained by the parliamentary convention which normally limits Speakers to only discussing their role … Continue reading Harry Barnes recommends an English language newspaper from Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Unions need help and support.

Tim Lezard meets Iraqi journalist Huda Saber. Huda Saber, 26, lives in Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. A member of the Journalists union of Kurdistan and an activist in the Kurdistan Syndicate, she works for two newspapers, Workers Arm and Gengeland (Youthland). ‘I wouldn’t say the situation for journalists in Iraq is bleak,’ she says, ‘but it is extremely difficult because of a lack of security. In Kurdistan, though, the security situation is better than the rest of Iraq and we are free to move about and to conduct our daily life.’ ‘We’re relatively free to work without the fear of … Continue reading Iraqi Unions need help and support.

Iraq opens up to the rest of the world

Iraq was once one of the worlds leading scientific centres. However, Saddam did not encourage free enquiry and the higher education system was left to deteriorate during his dictatorship. A virtual library for science is now popular in Iraqi universities. (David Spector)

The Other Iraqi Conflict

The military offensive into Iraq by both Iran and Turkey has received very limited coverage in the British media and not a peep from “stop the war” leaders. (David Spector)