(ANHRI/IFEX) – Cairo, July 25, 2012 – ANHRI condemns the brutal violence used against workers in the foreign copper company, MCM, in Akjoujt by security forces which resulted in the death of a worker. Several others were injured and arrested.
The incidents started nearly two weeks ago when the mine workers decided to strike and organize a sit-in in the company’s headquarters. They protested the fact that the company did not fulfill obligations previously signed on with the workers. To stop the protesters, the security forces used tear gas bombs, hit some of them with sticks and arrested others. The violence resulted in the death of Mohamed Wals El-Mashozafy, union leader, aged 35, who died after the police arrested him, dragged him and hit him to death. Among the arrests was Osman Wald Krieft, another union leader and human rights activist.
The conflict extended to the whole city when many residents of Akjoujt joined the protests in solidarity with the workers and helped them face the police’s brutal attacks.
ANHRI stated that “the workers’ right to strike and to peaceful assembly is a legitimate right to express their opinion and is untouchable, and under no circumstances they should be attacked.” The right of the workers to go on strike and sit-in to defend their own legitimate interests is recognized by the UN covenant on civil and political rights, ANHRI added.
ANHRI calls for the prompt investigation of the criminals who committed the murder of El-Mashozafy and bring them to justice as well as the release of Osman Wals Krieft and all arrested protesters.