Egyptian independent union leaders arrested in dawn raids

The Egyptian authorities have arrested eleven leading activists in the independent unions over the past week, stepping up pressure on the workers’ movement following the victimisation of textile workers in Mahalla after a major strike in August.

Eight independent trade unionists were seized in a series of nation-wide raids on their homes on 16 September, in a bid by the authorities to stop a protest rally planned for 19 September outside the General Tax Workers’ Union headquarters. Leaders of the independent property tax collectors’ union, the independent general tax workers’ union and the electricity workers’ union are among those reported to have been arrested.

The president of the Property Tax Collectors’ union, Tareq Kaeb, has also been arrested. He was reported to have been taken by the security services from outside Kafr Shukr hospital as he arrived for a medical appointment. A further two leading activists from the independent tax collectors’ unions were arrested over the last few days, bringing the total to eleven.

Reports on social media suggest that the arrested trade unionists are facing charges of “incitement to protest” and have been remanded in custody for further interrogation by prosecutors.

What you can do:

  • Rush messages of protest to the Egyptian authorities calling for the release of the arrested trade unionists