Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Eritrea

Arbitrary detention of three trade union leaders47

On 30 March 2005, Mr. Tewelde Ghebremedhin, president of the Food, Beverages, Hotels, Tourism, Agriculture and Tobacco Workers Federation, an affiliate of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Federation (IUF), and Mr. Minase Andezion, secretary of the Textile and Leather Workers' Federation, were arrested by the police.

On 9 April 2005, Mr. Habtom Weldemicael, president of the Coca Cola Workers Union and member of the Food and Beverage Workers' Federation Executive Committee, was also arrested for having allegedly urged industrial action to protest against worsening living standards of the workers.

By the end of 2005, no information concerning the place or conditions of detention, or the possible charges brought against them, was available. The three trade unionists were allegedly held incommunicado, without access to their lawyers, and thus incurred the risk of being tortured or ill-treated.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

47. See Urgent Appeal ERI 001/0505/OBS 032, and Closed Letter to the Eritrean authorities, 23 November 2005.


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