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

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)

Breakthrough in Government Talks?

The IWPR reports that The new Iraqi government will include the former prime minister Ayad Allawi, considered key to creation of a national unity administration but disputes over allocation of ministerial posts continue to dog negotiations.

Over 70 MPs have backed Commons motion from LFIQ Chair Dave Anderson on labour rights in Iraq

That this House supports the independent and democratic Iraqi trade union movement, mainly centred around the newly merged Iraqi Workers Federation (IWF) and the Kurdish trade unions, which play an important role in the re-building of Iraqs devastated national economy and consolidating the current political process in order to create a democratic, united and federal state after years of repression and hardship at the hands of the deposed dictatorship of Saddam Hussein; is, therefore, deeply disturbed that on 8th August 2005 the Iraqi Council of Ministers issued decree 8750 which declared that union finances would be taken over by the … Continue reading Over 70 MPs have backed Commons motion from LFIQ Chair Dave Anderson on labour rights in Iraq

Commons motion congratulating LFIQ Joint President

Dave Anderson has tabled a Commons motion congratulating Harry Barnes on being awarded honorary membership of the Iraqi trade union movement. The motion has so far been backed by the new North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel as well as Labour MPs Mike Gapes, Stephen Pound and Rob Marris as well as Conservative MP Peter Bottomley and LibDem MP Bob Russell. The motions reads as follows: That this House congratulates Harry Barnes, the hon. Member for North East Derbyshire from 1987 to 2005, on being granted honorary membership of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, the main new Iraqi trade … Continue reading Commons motion congratulating LFIQ Joint President

A struggle to exist

Tim Lezard reports on the LFIQ delegation to Iraq in the New Statesman. He quotes the vice-president of the Iraqi Workers Federation, Hadi Ali – We have tried to build new, independent trade unions, totally different from the old ones, but Decree 8750 is stopping us. We struggled to beat Saddam. Now we are struggling to build a strong, federal and democratic Iraq.

Army Prepares For Elected Council Handover

Having created a 835 man battalion from scratch and trained 500 police officers, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are preparing to hand over the southern tribal region, bordering Iran, to an elected provincial council, in weeks. (David Spector)

LFIQ Chair defends Iraqi unions in Foreign Office Questions

Tuesday 25th April Mr. David Anderson (Blaydon) (Lab): Does my hon. Friend agree that the Iraqi Government are in breach of international law by the way in which they have implemented decree 8750? They have also reinstated decree 150, which attacks the country’s free and independent trade union movement. Trade union assets have been seized and public sector workers denied the right to join trade unions. Will he agree to meet Iraq’s trade union representatives in this country to try and resolve these matters? Dr. Howells: I have certainly met trade unionists from Iraq, and would be only too glad … Continue reading LFIQ Chair defends Iraqi unions in Foreign Office Questions