As the Egyptian military regime’s attack on workplace organisers deepens, detained workers in two important cases face court this week. Shipyard workers from Alexandria who have been detained since 24 May after military police stormed the yard and arrested them are due to find out the verdict in their military trial on 18 October. The verdict has already been repeatedly postponed, leaving the fourteen workers currently in detention in squalid and overcrowded police cells for months. The workers’ crime was to call for the payment of overdue bonuses and pay and to call for health and safety in the workplace.
The following day, 19 October, six bus workers from the Cairo Public Transport Authority will hear whether their detention is going to be renewed. Mohamed Hashim, Mahmoud Abdel-Khaleq, Tareq Yousef, Ayman Abdel-Tuwab, Tareq Beheiri and Ahmad Mahmoud were snatched from their homes by police on 24 September. For a week the authorities refused to confirm the men’s whereabouts, until they were eventually located in the custody of the National Security Agency. The six have been charged with “incitement to strike” and “membership of a banned organisation. The police raids followed a decision by activists in the Cairo bus garages to organise a strike coinciding with the beginning of the new school year to demand wage rises to meet the spiralling cost of living.
What you can do:
- Send a message to President Sisi of Egypt calling on him to free the bus workers and shipyard workers and end military trials for civilians. Write to: Office of the President Al Ittihadia Palace, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, Fax: +202 2 391 1441, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @AlSisiofficial
- More resources and background materials on the Alexandria Shipyard Workers can be found here