URGENT: Please support ITF’s international campaign to secure the release of imprisoned Moroccan unionists

June 27, 2012

The ITF has called for the immediate release of two Moroccan trade unionists who were recently arrested.

Said Elhairech, general secretary of the ITF-affiliated Union des Syndicats UMT des Transports and chair of the ITF Arab World regional committee, was arrested on 16 June in Casablanca. General secretary of the merchant seafarers’ union Mohamed Chamchati was also arrested on 15 June. The ITF maintains that the men’s legitimate trade union activities lie behind the arrests; these include helping seafarers stranded in France and Spain following shipping company Comarit-Comanav’s cessation of operations.

In a statement released by the ITF, general secretary David Cockroft said that the reasons for Said Elhairech’s arrest were “so clouded as to be almost mind-boggling”. Suggestions that he had been working with Comarit-Comanav managers – reportedly also arrested – to engineer the company’s bankruptcy were, he said “utterly unfounded.”

He continued: “Said, along with his union, unions in Spain and France, and the ITF inspectors there, have been tirelessly fighting for the abandoned seafarers. He was directly requested to assist by the ITF, as he was in a dispute over union recognition last year, and we have no doubt that it is his effectiveness in both these cases that has brought down this harassment. This is about victimisation of a trade unionist, nothing else, and we expect the Moroccan government to act to get him freed straight away.”

The ITF is initiating an international support campaign to secure the release of Said Elhairech and Mohamed Chamchati.  PLEASE SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN BY VISITING THE ITF’s solidarity page

One Response to “URGENT: Please support ITF’s international campaign to secure the release of imprisoned Moroccan unionists”

  1. Darren Shiroma says:

    Justice and fair treatment for Mohamed Chamchati and Said Elhairech!

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