Hassan Jumaa Awad, President of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

Hassan Jumaa Awad, President of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

ICSSI – May the 3rd  2013

The legal case against the trade unionist and human rights defender, Hassan Juma Awad has been postponed yet again, this time to May 19th  2013 again because the South Oil Company [SOC] lawyer failed to present any evidence or witnesses. During Yesterday’s hearing the Basra court judge asked again the [SOC] lawyer to present evidence about the damages caused by the oil workers’ strike and whether the company had any witnesses who could confirm the allegations of these damages. [SOC] lawyer stated that the responses from the Ministry of oil didn’t arrive even if [SOC] had sent a request with a  person to the Ministry in Baghdad.

The judge decided to give a last chance to the SOC till the 19th of May and  confirmed that: all what he have seen in this case is about Hassan’s activities in demonstrations that are grunted by the Iraqi constitutions, and that these demonstrations were peaceful and end by list of demands about workers rights. So if no new facts or information will be provided by the SOC, he probably will close the case.

We need to maintain our solidarity and advocacy efforts towards the Iraqi government to drop the charges against Hassan. These charges are an unprecedented use of the Iraqi penal code number 111 of 1969 against a labor activist; it was previously used to repress state employees during the Saddam era. Hassan faces imprisonment if the court finds that as a result of his actions, “the interests of the state [were] harmed.”

But our pressure can make a difference. We were able to hand deliver our letter with your signatures demanding an end to attacks on trade to more Iraqi officials, full list is provided below:

  1. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
  2. Chair of the Iraqi Council of Representatives [CoR], the Iraqi Parliament
  3. Minister of Oil Abdul Karim Luaibi
  4. Ministry of Justice
  5. Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
  6. Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Shia Sudanei
  7. Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights in the Iraqia political bloc
  8. Chairman of the Legal Committee in the CoR, Kurdistan Alliance bloc
  9. Chairman of the Finance Committee in the CoR, State of Law bloc
  10. Office of the Economic Committee in the CoR, State of Law bloc
  11. The Judge of the Basra Court
  12. Relations Committee in the [CoR], the Iraqi Parliament
  13. Number of members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives [CoR], the Iraqi Parliament
  14. Supreme Judicial Council
  15. The information department of the Cabinet
  16. Cabinet Relations Department

Our campaign must continue; more and more national and international unions, labor federations and nongovernmental organizations are signing our letter to Prime Minister Al-Maliki. We will update the list of signatures soon. Meanwhile, if your organization can help to get more union and organizational endorsements, this will strengthen our support.

All new organization are invited to sign the letter at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OMdXlPdVVC2RjIG1Q2Czb-r-zzaNJzqblBW4pJuL-is/viewform

If you want to indicate individual support sign the petition at:

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/2488/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=13006