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Iraq - Leading trade union activist killed
Najim Abd-Jasem's, the founder and leader of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) was abducted in Baghdad and his body, with evident signs of torture, was found three days later, on March 30, 2007. Since the 1980’s, Najim Abd-Jasem's has actively promoted the rights of workers and faced routine persecution on account of this work. He was fired from his job during Saddam Hussein’s regime for having opposed the government’s official union. A law, decree 150 was passed by the Iraqi administration under Sadaam Hussein and remains in force. The law bans trade unions in the public sector. Najim Abd-Jasem was extremely active in the new trade union movement that followed the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. Najim Abd-Jasem's was elected to the position of the General Secretary of the Mechanics Workers Union in 2003. Human rights defenders in Iraq, face huge risks to their lives and security as they carry out their work in an extremely dangerous situation.
Front line believes Najim Abd-Jasem has been targeted and killed as a result of his peaceful activities in the defense of human rights, in particular, his work to defend the rights of workers. Front Line calls on the Iraqi authorities to initiate an immediate, impartial and investigation into Najim Abd-Jasem killing and bring those responsible to justice.