Unions Back Workers in Burma Facing Death Sentence
The Council of Trade Unions has written to political and military leaders in Burma to protest against the death sentence being passed on nine workers on trumped-up charges of treason, CTU president Ross Wilson said today.
Charges were brought against some individuals on the grounds of making contact with the United Nations' International Labour Organisation (ILO).
One defendant received the death sentence having been found in possession of the report of the ILO Commission of Inquiry on Forced Labour in Burma
“The CTU has strongly condemned the conviction and the death sentence brought against these workers,” Ross Wilson said. “Unions will be seeking a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff to enlist his support.”
In letters to the Burma Minister of Labour, Tin Winn, and Senior General Than Shwe, Ross Wilson said the CTU was outraged at the workers’ treatment and urged that they be released immediately.
“Contact and cooperation with the ILO, an agency of the United Nations, cannot, under any circumstances, be considered as an offence of any nature, still less grounds for a death sentence.
“The very fact
that anyone may be prosecuted, let alone condemned, for the
possession of ILO materials in itself constitutes a grave
violation of fundamental human rights.”