Iraq: The Release of Himyar Salih Iqaal

We received this small news item from the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq, which highlights how so-called "anti-terror" laws are used in Iraq to harass trade union activists, whose only crime is to defend the interests of Iraqi workers.

After three months of illegal arrest, Hmiayr Salih the president of the Agricultural Workers Union, was released at dawn on 5.5.2009. The armed forces who attacked his home, under the pretext of being a "terrorist", without any evidence, put him in jail for three months, with very bad treatment. Himyar Salih had been arrested without any legal orders, or official arrest warrant, while on the other hand, the procedures proved that the accusation was fake.

Despite the fact that Himyar Salih was a previous political prisoner during the former regimes' era, and he had spent many years in jail, this was not enough to prevent the authorities from arresting him for three months, before releasing him because of non evidence against him.

Many unions and unionists have sent letters to the Iraqi authorities and to the Iraqi embassies in their countries, calling for the release of Himyar Salih.

At this time we congratulate the family of Himyar and his friends, and we thank and highly appreciate the efforts of the unions and organizations who sent letters to support Himyar and calling for freeing him.

(8-5-2009).