HQ wrecked

Statement of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) protesting against the attack by the US occupation forces

To: Iraqi working class, Iraqi, Arab and world public opinion, supporters of freedom, democracy and human rights all over the world

The American occupation forces, using a force of about 10 armoured cars and tens of soldiers, attacked the temporary headquarters of IFTU (at the headquarters of the Transport and Communications Union, in the Karkh district, Alawi Al Hilla, Baghdad) at 10.30am on Saturday December 6 2003, and arrested eight of its leaders and cadres, who were handcuffed and taken away to an unknown destination.

The attackers ransacked and destroyed IFTU’s possessions, tearing down banners and posters which condemned acts of terror and tarnishing the name of IFTU and that of the General Union of Transport Workers (on the building’s main front) with black paint and smashing windows glass, without giving any reason or explanation.

The IFTU, as one of the most important organisations of civil society, that
includes within its ranks sons of the working class, the builders of the new Iraq, the democratic future of Iraq, strongly condemns this unjustified terrorist act by the occupation forces which targeted trade unionist cadres and leaders who are well known for their struggle against the hated dictatorship.

While calling for the release of our detained colleagues as soon as possible, and condemning any attempt to launch a new attack on trade union centres, or further arrests of trade union leaders, we stress that the Iraqi working class will not forgive this attack, which constitutes a blatant violation of democracy and human rights.

We therefore call upon all the forces of goodwill of our people, as well as Arab and international trade union organisations, to take a firm stand against this act, and to call for the immediate release of the detainees, and compensation for the damage inflicted upon our colleagues and IFTU headquarters as a result of this act of aggression.

December 6 2003