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ITF protests at bail refusal
10 September 2012
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has reacted angrily to the refusal today of the court in Rabat, Morocco, to grant bail to union leader Said Elhairech, who has been held in jail for over two months on what it describes as trumped up charges.
Said Elhairech, who is general secretary of the ITF-affiliated Moroccan Ports Union, part of the UMT (Union des Syndicats UMT des Transports), and chair of the ITF Arab World regional committee, was arrested on 16 June on logic defying charges of ‘sabotage and endangering national security’. He is being held in Rabat’s Sale prison. He has consistently rejected the accusations and is backed by the ITF, which believes that he has been wholly wrongly charged following his very effective work on behalf of ships’ crews stranded by the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav ferry company, which he undertook at the ITF’s request. The ITF unequivocally supports Said in his fight for justice, and has mobilised international solidarity for him; taken its concerns to the Moroccan authorities, government and embassies worldwide; provided testimony and witnesses; and employed a lawyer to defend Said.
Bilal Malkawi, ITF Arab World regional secretary, said: “The refusal of bail is inexplicable. It marks a further low point for a justice system that seems happy to see an unjustifiable and pointless case drag on and on.”
He continued: “Once again we promise Said our continuing and overwhelming support. Everything that can be done to free him either has been done or soon will be. If Said does not get the justice he deserves then a further storm of protest and support will be unleashed.”
For more details please see www.itfglobal.org/solidarity/Said-Elhairech.cfm
For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871
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