Iraq: Oil workers’ union leader facing court as international protests grow

Hassan Jumaa Awad, president of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, is facing up to 3 years in prison for organising strikes at the Southern Oil Company in Basra. An Iraqi court is now set to hear the case on 19 May, after previous hearings have been postponed multiple times because the oil company’s lawyers failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims.

The oil workers’ unions have been at the forefront of recent battles to stop the privatisation of the oil industry, and have also faced a barrage of attacks from Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

Unions in the US, UK and internationally have backed the campaign to drop the charges against Hassan, and campaigners in London are planning a protest at the Iraqi embassy on 20 May if he is convicted.

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