Handing over control to Iraqi security forces is excellent news but grassroots solidarity remains pressing. More should support the TUC appeal for second hand mobiles for Iraqi union organisers and emulate, for example, Unison and the Fire Brigades Union in providing practical and moral solidarity to unions whose growth after having been pulverised by Saddam Hussein is an inspiration and whose consciously non-sectarian approach could do much to build a democratic, federal and pluralist Iraq. Gary Kent Director Labour Friends of Iraq
Teachers should be guaranteed a safe and secure working environment, says EI in a letter to the President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani. Since February this year, 180 teachers have been killed and up to 100 have been kidnapped.
The Fire Brigades Union has protested against the accidental killing of 4 firefighters in Fallujah by US troops.
Ann Clwyd has emphasised after a speech at Wellesley College near Boston that an early withdrawal of troops from Iraq would accelerate rights abuses against ordinary Iraqis and that the Iraqi government should press harder to investigate police abuses, weed out corruption and free thousands of mostly Sunni prisoners in Iraqi prisons.
The TUC has issued a message of solidarity from Brendan Barber. Responding to the kidnapping of Ministry of Education officials in Baghdad this week (not all of whom have been released as yet), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has sent the following message of solidarity with Iraqi workers and teachers. ‘This cowardly attack on some of the people most involved in keeping the education system going is a terrible reminder of the persistent persecution being suffered by workers and academics in Iraq. Workers in the education sector are in the front line, facing intimidation, harassment and sometimes death, all for … Continue reading UK unions stand in solidarity with Iraqi workers and educationalists
Roger Darlington reports on tonights successful screening at the Commons of a poignant film on atrocities under Saddam and rightly says you should all watch it on Monday 20th November at 8pm on Channel 4. Nuff said. Gary Kent
Austrian Airlines has become the first European carrier to offer scheduled flights to Erbil – the fourth biggest city in Iraq and the focus for United Nations regeneration plans.
Iraqi Chief Justice Madhat Al-Mahmood has emphasised how much the judiciary has improved in recent years. The number of female judges, for example, has risen from five under Saddam to 28.
His wide-ranging speech on international strategy included this assessment of the current Iraqi situation: The bomb which killed British forces in Iraq yesterday was a cruel and wicked reminder that this terrorism is dedicated to one end: to stop democracy flourishing in Arab and Muslim countries; to foster sectarian division; to drive out the possibility of reconciliation between people of different faiths. In defiance of the wishes of the Government of Iraq, now elected, and of the UN which for over three years has supported that democratic process, they urge violence to eliminate hope. In Basra, we are halfway through … Continue reading Blair speech on a whole Middle East strategy
Iraqi oil minister Hussein Al-Shahristani has called on Asian companies to help develop the Iraqi oil industry.