Saturday, August 28, 2010

Solidarity With 8 Workers Standing Military Trial

On Wednesday, August 25, a group of 20 labor activists protested outside the office of the General Prosecutor - where defense lawyers petitioned the prosecution to prevent the trial of 8 (civilian) workers before a military tribunal.

The eight workers were employed at the Helwan Factory 99 - a military production facility - they were arrested and brought before a military tribunal on Sunday, August 22, after protesting deadly working conditions in which they are employed.

One of their co-workers was killed in an industrial explosion, and further explosions in this factory led to the injury of other workers earlier this month.

Workers protested against these industrial accidents and fatal working conditions at their factory, and briefly boss-napped one of the factory's chief administrators.

Demonstrators outside the General Prosecutor's office chanted against the referral of civilians to military trials, and chanted for the workers' rights to strike and protest.

Placards compared this trial to the historic military trial of Workers Mustafa Khamis and Mohamed Baqari - who were executed by Egypt's military junta for striking in 1952.

One protester picked up a megaphone and announced "we denounce the referral of any and all civilians to military courts. We denounce the military trials of civilians like Khairat el-Shater and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, MP Talaat el-Sadat, Madgy Hussein of the Labor Party and others attempting to lift the siege on Gaza, along with other activists."

The military trial of the eight workers is ongoing, and further protests and solidarity stands are planned.

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