World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions

International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions

ICFTU OnLine...

Trade unionists tortured in latest act of Mugabe regime's brutality

Brussels, 15 September 2006(ICFTU online): The Zimbabwean authorities
must immediately release the members of the Zimbabwean Council of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), more than a dozen of whom have been tortured and injured
following their arrest on September 13, 2006.

Mr Wellington Chibebe, General Secretary, Mr Lovemore Matombo,
President, and Ms Lucia Matibenga, First Vice President of ZCTU are
amongst those tortured by Zimbabwean authorities. Mr Chibebe has had his
arm broken and both him and Mr Matombo were beaten, sustaining
cranial/facial bruising and other head injuries. Ms Matibenga and other
prisoners have also reported being beaten on the soles of their feet,
having their heads bashed against prison walls and being stamped and
kicked in the head.

They were amongst 250 trade unionists and other civilians, including
approximately 100 women and several infants, arrested nationwide
following a peaceful protest calling for decent wages, action on
Zimbabwe's 1000 per cent inflation rate and better access to life-saving
anti-viral drugs for AIDS sufferers.

"These latest reports of brutality must be condemned by the entire
international community, and the world trade union movement will do
everything within its power to mobile international pressure to put a
stop this reign of terror," Guy Ryder, the General Secretary of the
ICFTU said today.

"History has shown time and time again, that such brutal treatment of
people trying to exercise their democratic rights will simply backfire.
With each act of repression the Mugabe regime is further isolating
itself from the international community and those who continue to pay
the price are the Zimbabwean people," he continued.

"We call on the Zimbabwean government to stop its continuing campaign of
harassment and abuse of trade unionists. Yet again, the Mugabe regime
has failed to fulfill its responsibility under the international
obligations it is party to, namely the ILO Core Labour Standards on
Freedom of Association," Ryder added.

At the latest count, 92 trade unionists remain in custody. They finally
received access to medical attention today despite the fact that some of
them have had eating and hearing problems resulting from their injuries
for the past two days.

Yesterday afternoon, colleagues from the ZCTU and the International
Labour Office in Zimbabwe attempted to visit the prisoners, but were
denied access.

The ICFTU and a number of its affiliates have written to the Zimbabwean
government urging them to release the prisoners and fulfill their legal
obligations. To view the letter visit

The ICFTU has also written to the ILO Director General urging him to
intervene. To view the letter visit

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers in 241 affiliated organizations
in 156 countries and territories: ICFTU is also a
member of Global Unions:


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>

Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>