Jailed Kosovo union president, Hasan Abazi, released
Buckling to massive international pressure mounted by unions, activists and human rights defenders, Serbian authorities free Hasan Abazi , President of the Independent Metalworkers’ Union of Kosovo International.
SERBIA/KOSOVO: After 28 days in imprisonment, first in solitary confinement and then in a cell with some 15 other inmates, Hasan Abazi, President of the Independent Metalworkers' Union of Kosovo affiliated to the IMF, was released on 20 April at noon on bail of €20,000.
The union president who was arrested on March 28 in Southern Serbia while travelling to Zagreb, Croatia, to attend a meeting of three European trade union federations, EMF, EMCEF, ETUF-TCL, is now back home in Kosovo.
His arrest generated immediate and massive protests worldwide, including a number of high-level diplomatic interventions, and raised serious concerns within the international community about implementation of the rule of law and respect of fundamental human rights in Serbia.
To complement a call for solidarity by unions around the globe, the IMF launched a Labourstart campaign, resulting in almost 8000 protest letters demanding Hasan's release, delivered to Serbian authorities. Labour groups and human rights organizations also increased pressure on the Serbian government through the EU, embassies and other diplomatic channels.
"The IMF-ICEM-ITGWF and their European sister organisations are very grateful to all individuals and organisations that have joined in the Labour Start campaign to release him. Worldwide mobilisation and the pressure put to bear on the Serbian authorities against Hasan's disgraceful detention have been decisive in getting him out of jail" said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of the IMF.
See IMF-ITGLWF-ICEM letter here.Apr 23, 2012 – Kristyne Peter