Terrorist attacks in Paris shocked the world and the global trade union movement expressed its clear position on the issue.
At the same time we must not forget our brave leaders in the Arab world, which are some of the most devoted advocates of human rights in the region and as such often become a target for those who try to end democracy and democratic values.
One of these modern heroes is our sister Nermin Al-Sharif, leader of the Union of dockers and sailors in Libya.
Nermin is an ardent fighter for women’s rights in the Arab world. She actively participated in the ITF campaign aiming to show the reality behind the glamour of the airline Qatar Airways and more particularly the violation of workers’ human rights within the airline. The civil war in Libya did not stop Nermin to defend the values of democracy, neighter did the previous attempt on her life.
On Sunday 8 November, Nermin was shot at as she was driving in a car near Benghazi. She is now out of hospital and recovering from her injuries. This is the second attempt on her life and follows the murder of three other well-known female activists in Libya.
“There’s been a series of attacks on brilliant and committed activists in Libya and the government cannot pretend this is not happening. This is part of a campaign to silence democratic debate by any means possible. The people of Libya and the union movement need people like Nermin Al-Sharif, and we wish her a speedy recovery!”, says ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton.
On November 12th, ITF launched an online petition through which the global union movement addresses the Prime Minister of Libya Abdullah al Thani with a request to ensure the protection of Nermin, as well as the protection of other tradeunionists and human rights activists in Libya.
On November 13th all members of the FTTUB Executive board expressed their solidarity Nermin by signing the petition.
FTTUB calls on all its members and our brothers and sisters around the World to join the ITF campaign by signing the online petition.
Last year at the 43rd ITF Congress in Bulgaria we promissed each other to stand together and fight all forms of violence. Let us show Nermin that we stand behind our words and that she is not alone in this battle!