Said Elhairech Announces Hunger Strike Plan

Detained Moroccan trade union leader Said Elhairech has announced that he will begin a hunger strike next week in protest at his continuing detention on fantastical charges of sabotage and endangering national security.

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Notifying the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) of his plans, Said stated that he is acting in protest at his arbitrary and unjustified detention, which he is certain is a purely political arrest aimed at preventing union work within the ports of Morocco.

He added that the charges against him are unprecedented and worthless, and are based on a plausibility-stretching interpretation of one two minute phone call he made.

ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented:

"We had all hoped for a quick dismissal of the fanciful and unbelievable charges against Said - which recast the excellent work he did at our request to help abandoned Comarit-Comanav crews into a James Bond style plot against the state.

"Regrettably that deserved early dismissal has still not happened, and this hunger strike reveals the depths of Said's disgust and frustration.

"Once again we call on the government and on the Moroccan ambassador Princess Joumala to carry through on their assurances that justice will be done, and ensure that these politically motivated charges are given the short shrift they deserve."