Statement: Brutal Murder of an Iraqi Trade Union Leader
13 January 2005
- Hadi Salih, International Secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), was killed at his Baghdad home on the evening of 4 January. He represented the Iraqi trade union movement in making a deep impression at the 18th ICFTU World Congress in Miyazaki in last December. Evidence of torture was visible as his hand and legs had been tied. RENGO expressed its wrath at the brutal murder of Brother Salih and lamented his unnatural death.
- Salih had been sentenced to death in 1969 under the Saddam Hussein regime for independent trade union activities. After spending five years of imprisonment, he had fled Iraq and settled in Sweden, from where he continued to work for labour rights in Iraq. Returning to Iraq at the outset of the war in 2003, he worked on the reconstruction of the trade union movement of his home country, in cooperation with the ICFTU. Baghdad trade union sources believe that the atrocity was carried out by remnants of Hussein’s secret police.
- RENGO is in the position of and has been clear in objecting the Iraqi war. We are deeply concerned that the war, as well as aggravating security, has brought about the loss of an irreplaceable trade unionist like Brother Salih. We at the same time denounce terrorists expanding their destructing attacks turning their back on efforts of the international community in reconstructing the country.
- Free and democratic trade union movement is a prerequisite to building free, democratic country. RENGO will continue to assist, as a member of the ICFTU, achieve the establishment of democracy and the rebuilding of the trade union movement in the land of Iraq.