Please help us in our protest against the denial of a visa for 2 Iraqi
trade unionists - Mrs Bushra A Abbood and Taha A Ibraheem Breshdi - from the General Union of Oil Employees, Basra. Both were due to tour Germany for three weeks from October 20th. Bushra’s participation would have marked the first overseas visit by a female Iraqi oil trade union activist.
We had been assured for several weeks before that there should be no problems with the visa applications yet they were rejected Tuesday October 18th. The German foreign office is still refusing to tell us why the visas were denied, saying that ‘Under German law and in line with established international practice, no reasons for such denial need be given’.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the the Initiative Group have issued an
intermim charge against the German Foreign Office to challenge the Visa denial.
The tour – titled “the other Iraqi resistance” had the support of 100
trade unions, peace organisations, ATTAC groups etc. and several MPs in Germany alone. It was due to visit 20-25 cities, and was an attempt to show the non-violent Iraqi resistance to the occupation and privatisation of Iraq.
We are calling on everyone on the coming *Friday, 28 October* to fax letters of complaint and petitions to the German foreign office (00 49 30 5000 3402). Petitions (German only, I'm afraid) are available at
Also, if you know prominent people who can speak out against the
refusal, please send their details to Hans-Peter Richter from the German peace council: A-HPR@t-online.de
If you don't have a fax, but want to join the action, you can mail the
foreign office at email@example.com.
Thanks for your support
Phil (ATTAC working group, „globalisation and war“ and co.organiser of the tour).
From Naftana, UK Support Committee for the GUOE
It’s important that people mobilise around this unprecedented visa
denial which has effectively silenced the GUOE. The GUOE is committed to fighting against the privatisation of Iraq’s oil industry. The workers which occupy that economic space and are responsible for keeping that industry alive, are best placed to prevent its’ sell-off.
The Union has also consistently called for an IMMEDIATE withdrawal of all occupation forces from Iraq and is still struggling against former regime managers and authorities within their workplaces and the Ministry of Oil.
Please support the GUOE and the German anti-war movement in
faxing/emailing local German embassies. Please demand that Bushra and Taha be granted access to the country and the thousands of anti-war activists, trade unionists and social justice campaigners waiting there for them.
Please click here to find your local German Embassy
For further details please contact
Naftana – UK Support Committee for the GUOE
0044 7749 421 576
Learn more about the Union at
FAO Herr Matussek - re Iraqi Union officials barred from Germany ?
Dear Herr Matussek,
I have long admired your nations reasoned and principled stand against the illegal invasion of Iraq. It is therefore especially shocking to hear that Germany has denied two Iraqi union officials, Mrs Bushra A Abbood and Taha A Ibraheem Breshdi of the GUOE visas to enter your country. Can you tell me if this is because they are Iraqi or because they are union officials ?
The General Union of Oil Employees is a peaceful and secular organisation dedicated to the reconstruction of an independent Iraq. It's officials are at constant risk when travelling both from insurgents determined to destroy the Iraqi oil infrastructure and British and American soldiers who are being used to enforce privatisation of the main Iraqi national resource. I would think a civilised nation such as Germany would not only welcome such emmissaries, I would expect full support of their cause. Given that Hassan Jumma, the head of this union, has been allowed to travel without hinderance within the UK on a similar mission, is the new German goverment really less supportive of the Iraqi people than the UK government ? Has your goverment intelligence services suspicions that MI5 in this country failed to notice ? I doubt this very much and suspect and hope that this is a simple administrative mix-up by over-zealous officials that you personally could investigate and fix.
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
23 Belgrave Square
Tel. 020 7824 1300
Fax. 020 7824 1449
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
16 Eglinton Crescent
Edinburgh EH 12 5DG
Tel. ( 00 44 131 ) 337 2323
Fax : ( 00 44 131 ) 346 1578
Jumping the gun