Source: Unite Union New Zealand
French Unions condemn violent attack on another unionist as second flotilla boat boarded
The following is a release from the French General Confederation of Labour (CGT) who had a member aboard the second flotilla boat, “FREEDOM” boarded illegally by Israeli forces in the last few days.
“The CGT protests against acts of piracy by Israeli forces, as well as the arrests of trade unionists in this occasion
During the night of Friday to Saturday, August 4, the FREEDOM, the second boat of the “Freedom Flotilla” was boarded in international waters.
The attackers who carried out an act of piracy were the Israeli special forces, under the command of the Government of Israel.
On the occasion of this arrest, Pascal MAURIERAS, a CGT sailor who was participating in this peaceful humanitarian mission, was violently arrested, beaten and thrown into an Israeli prison.
During the arrest of the first boat, the “Al Awda”, it was Mike TREEN, a New Zealand trade unionist from UNITE, a member of NZCTU and the CSI, who was arrested and very violently hit by the attackers causing serious injuries.
These attacks, violence against trade unionists and imprisonment must stop immediately.
It seems that Pascal MAURIERAS will be expelled today to France, no confirmation has been given to us.
The CGT is surprised at the lack of responsiveness of the French government to enforce the rules of international law, the lack of eagerness that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed to request news and the release of our compatriot.
The CGT believes that once again the French and Israeli governments are applying a desire to criminalise trade union action, and that this is union discrimination.
The CGT requires the government to commit itself:
▪ To release without delay Mr Maurieras, as well as all the other victims, who were all on this ship for a humanitarian and peaceful mission;
▪ To put an end as soon as possible to its acts of repeated piracy by taking all necessary protective measures to ensure the security of humanitarian and peaceful missions. As a reminder, Mrs Sarah KATZ, a French national, was already the victim of an act of piracy on board the ship “Al-Awda” on 29 July, an act of piracy claimed by the Israeli government and its army;
▪ To seize the international organizations so that the Israeli government is heavily condemned and that it stops its untimely and illegal actions;
▪ That France and international organisations take real action to ensure respect for the rights of the Palestinians, victims since at least 1948.”
Mike Treen spoke to a packed public meeting on Sunday night in Auckland and has been invited to speak in Christchurch on Monday 13th August (Cardboard Cathedral, Latimer Square, 7.30pm), as well as Wellington, Hamilton and Whangarei (details TBC).