The solidarity campaign in Egypt with 26 workers from Alexandria Shipyard who are awaiting the verdict in their trial before a military court on 2 August stepped up a gear last week, with the publication of a solidarity statement signed by a dozen political parties and campaigns, and nearly 200 individual trade unionists, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and campaigners.
The statement condemns the use of a military court to try the 26 civilian workers, and the detention of 14 of them in “inhuman conditions in Alexandria’s police stations”, despite the fact that Alexandria Shipyard is a company governed by civilian labour law and working on shipbuilding contracts for civilian customers, not the military.
“The workers’ protests at Alexandria Shipyard on 22 and 23 May were legitimate and peaceful, according to testimony from the company management presented to the military judges,” the signatories noted. “The military trial of the Alexandria Shipyard workers should sound a warning bell for the rights and freedoms of an increasing number of civilian workers employed in factories and projects which have come into the ownership of the Armed Forces after previously being owned by civilians.” The Egyptian Armed Forces is a major player in the economy, with a large stake in production in several sectors, unconnected with defence industries.
What you can do:
- Sign the international petition in solidarity with the Alexandria Shipyard workers here
- Use our social media banner and icons to spread the message online
- Share the video of UK trade unionists speaking out in support of the Alexandria Shipyard workers here
- Pass a resolution in protest at the trial through your union branch
- Read more here on how military trials are being used to rush through unjust verdicts based on ‘evidence’ obtained through torture
- Download a copy of our background briefing on the Egyptian workers’ movement here