Union Leaders and MPs Call for Freedom for Colombian Political Prisoners

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 1 December 2008

A letter sent last week to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, calls on his regime to stop imprisoning people for political reasons and to release four named political prisoners. Signed by the leaders of virtually all of Britain's trade unions as well as various Members of Parliament, the letter says that "the ongoing imprisonment of people for political reasons makes a mockery of claims that human rights are respected in Colombia" and that the detentions are "a clear example of state-sponsored harassment of trade unionists, human rights defenders and members of the political opposition."

A letter was also sent by the same individuals to judges in two of the named cases asking why those being held were still in jail, one of them a year after being detained, despite having been convicted of no crime whatsoever.

The full letter can be read in English here and in Spanish here.

To take action to help the four prisoners mentioned in the letter please visit the Political Prisoners Campaign section of this website.

Those who signed the letters included:

Adrian Askew, General Secretary of Connect

David Begg, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT)

Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

Mike Bradley, General Secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU)

Colin Burgon MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Brian Caton, General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association (POA)

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Member of Parliament

David Crausby MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Bob Crow, General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)

Jon Cruddas MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

Gerry Doherty, General Secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA)

Frank Doran MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Elaine Edwards, General Secretary of Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (UCAC)

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour Member of Parliament

John Hannett, General Secretary of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW)

Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU)

Stephen Hepburn MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union (UCU)

Carolyn Jones, Director of the Institute of Employment Rights

Lynne Jones MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women

Teachers (NASUWT)

Paul Kenny, General Secretary of the GMB

Chris Kitchen, General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)

Michael J. Leahy OBE, General Secretary of Community

Jonathan Ledger, General Secretary of Napo

Joe Marino, General Secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)

Anne Moffat MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Robert Monks, General Secretary of the United Road Transport Union (URTU)

Gerry Morrissey, General Secretary of the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinema & Theatre Union

(BECTU)

Ged Nichols, General Secretary of Accord

Paul Noon, General Secretary of Prospect

Keith Norman, General Secretary of Assoc. Society of Locomotive Engineers and Fireman (ASLEF)

Bill Olner MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Brian Orrell, General Secretary of Nautilus

Tim Poil, General Secretary of the Nationwide Group Staff Union (NGSU)

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON

Alan Ritchie, General Secretary of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades & Technicians (UCATT)

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)

Derek Simpson, General Secretary of Unite

John F. Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians Union (MU)

Ronald A. Smith, General Secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

Anne Snelgrove MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Wes Streeting, President of the National Union of Students (NUS)

Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA)

Mark Todd MP, Labour Member of Parliament

Charles Ward, General Secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP)

Tony Woodley, General Secretary of Unite

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU)



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