Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Visit to Iraq

Harry Barnes gives an informative account of a trip to Iraq he made in 2006.

In this piece he recalls meeting Najim Abd-Jasem, who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered at the end of March 2007. Until his murder, Najim was the General Secretary of the Mechanics, Printers and Metalworkers Union in Baghdad.

Najim had been an active member of the underground Workers' Trade Union Movement during Saddam Hussein's rule and had struggled against the regime, losing his employment as a consequence.

He was a key founder member of the new free Trade Union Movement which emerged in Iraq immediately after the Coalition's invasion. He helped establish both his own Trade Union and the wider body it affiliated to - the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). The later has now merged into a wider body known as the General Federation of Iraqi Workers and is recognised by the Arab Federation of Trade Unions.
Those seeking to create a better world in Iraq are being targetted by the so-called "insurgency" who see a non-sectarian future as a bad thing.

(Thanks to Will Rubbish)

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