[xmca] AFT: Urgent Appeal for Jailed Unionists (fwd)

From: Tony Whitson (twhitson@UDel.Edu)
Date: Fri Sep 15 2006 - 14:50:37 PDT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 21:49:20 GMT
From: AFT International Affairs Department <iad@aft.org>
Reply-To: notice-reply-wnwenkezl7xnxm5@unionvoice.org
To: Tony Whitson <twhitson@UDel.Edu>
Subject: Urgent Appeal for Jailed Unionists

Dear Tony Whitson,

Authorities in Zimbabwe on Thursday, Sept. 12, arrested more
than 250 trade unionists and other civilians, including
approximately 100 women and several infants, following peaceful
protests throughout the country. According to press reports,
several of those arrested during the protest in the capital city
of Harare are in need of medical attention. Please help us gain
their immediate release by sending a letter to the Zimbabwe
ambassador in Washington, D.C.

The Associated Press reports that Wellington Chibebe,
secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and
recipient of the AFL-CIO's 2003 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human
Rights Award, is in "very serious" condition with a broken arm
and hand and cuts on his head. Chibebe is quoted as saying the
labor activists were "indiscriminately beaten all over their
bodies" by police.

On Monday, Sept. 18, at 12:30 p.m. E.T., the AFL-CIO is leading
a rally outside the Embassy of Zimbabwe to demand the immediate
release of Chibebe and all the imprisoned trade unionists and
others who participated in the protest . The embassy is at 1608
New Hampshire Ave. N.W, Washington, D.C. The AFT will have a
strong contingent at the rally.

You can help in this effort by sending a letter to Ambassador
Machivenyika Mapuranga demanding that the Zimbabwe government
release Wellington Chibebe and his colleagues. Your letter could
be as simple as this: "I am writing to urge your government to
release all of the trade union leaders and civilians arrested
during peaceful protests this week in Zimbabwe. Your government
must respect the human rights of your country's people and abide
by internationally recognized labor standards. Please take
immediate action to release Wellington Chibebe and his
colleagues who have been unjustly imprisoned by your

Letters should be addressed to:

Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga
Embassy of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

There is no e-mail address for the embassy, but letters can be
faxed to the ambassador at 202/483-9326. Please send an e-mail
to Gregory King at gking@aft.org to let us know that you have
sent your letter. Please also forward this e-mail to anyone you
know who might be able to help. Thank you.


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