By Ahmed Mansour
The misdemeanor court sentenced five members of the independent union of the Container Handling Company to three years in prison and a fine of EGP 10,000, after calling for a sit-in.
Egyptian Human Rights Watch (EHRW) issued a statement Monday denouncing the court ruling, “it’s the workers right to sit in or strike in order for the government or the company’s management to listen to what they have to say”
The workers sentenced are president of the independent workers syndicate, Ahmed Sadek, and members of the syndicate, Youssry Maarouf, Ashraf Mahmoud, Mohamed Abdul Monem and Essam Mabrouk.
Emad Mubarak, the executive director of the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, told Daily News Egypt “it is the first time this has happened in Egypt and this should not be acceptable, the workers have the right to strike and demand what they see as best for them. They should only be arrested if they encourage other workers to perform acts of vandalism.”
EHRW also said “the working man who is on strike is not a criminal and shouldn’t be treated like one. Based on the Egyptian constitution articles 29 and 105 or United Nations human rights policy, which Egypt must abide by, strikes were never against the law.”
EHRW stated that they are in full support of the Container Handling Company cause and will support them.
“Actions should be taken to defend those who are helpless against the unfair court’s ruling, so they can submit an appeal and get their jobs back” said Mubarak.