The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomed the strong call made by the ITUC in a letter to Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.
The move comes after the Empowerment Committee, established by the new government to remove elements of the former regime from positions of authority, dissolved unions, including the Sudanese Journalists Union, and issued an arrest warrant for its head, Sadiq Al Rezegy for refusing to hand over the union’s assets and continuing to carry out “illegal” activities as head of a banned union.
In its letter the ITUC said: “Your government’s action’s to dissolve trade unions and confiscate trade union property – and now the intention to arrest trade union representatives – is a continuation of violations by your government of its international obligations to protect the right to freedom of association and the right to organize”.
The ITUC called on the authorities to cancel the arrest warrant and dissolution orders and “stop the acquisition by force of trade union assets”.
They accused the government of following the “dictatorial tendencies” of the former regime and urged them to engage in social dialogue – a call welcomed by the IFJ.
IFJ President Younes M’Jahed said: “The IFJ cannot accept in any way the methods used by the authorities in Sudan. The dissolution of the journalists' union is an illegal act. It is the Sudanese journalists themselves who have to decide their representation and make their choice, the authorities cannot decide for them".
“Dissolving trade unions, seizing their assets and threatening arrests are not the actions of a government committed to democracy and rights. We urge the Sudanese government to stop the attacks on unions and engage in urgent dialogue. The IFJ stands ready to meet the government to resolve this situation”.