Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/6907

Posted on 13 February 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Support Yahya al Faifi! Saudi Trade Union dissident facing deportation

Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales)

Yahya al Faifi, a very brave and self-sacrificing trade unionist - and a deeply committed socialist - is facing deportation back to a tyranny in Saudi Arabia that regularly tortures and "disappears" dissidents. On 12 February, he received a rejection letter for his appeal against the refusal of his asylum claim appeal. Now, he and his family are in imminent danger of deportation from Britain.

The trade union movement is organising a day of action for Yahya on Thursday, 19 February. There will be a lobby of the Home Secretary in Queen Anne's Gate in Whitehall at 2:00pm. A number of prominent trade unionists and MP's will be attending. Any supporter who can be there is urged to join us.

We are calling on trade unionists and other socialists internationally to organise protests/lobbies outside British Embassies and Consulates around the world on the same day - and to let the media know. If this is not possible in certain cases, then we are asking for whatever protests can be made on 19 February to be made.

It is important that anyone taking part please contact the campaign to let us know. The best protection that Yahya can have is a huge show of support - and that support will only help if it is well publicised. (Contact: defendyahyaalfaifi@googlemail.com)

So far, Yahya has the support of Ann Clwyd, MP; Jeff Cuthbert, AM; Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the Communications Workers Union; Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (that organises the Civil Service); Wayne Thomas, General Secretary of South Wales NUM; the Executive of the National Union of Journalists in Wales; the Executive of the University and College Lecturers Union in Wales; the Merseyside Port Shop Stewards and many other trade union bodies. In 2006, Wales TUC passed a motion supporting Yahya's campaign for Saudi Arabian trade union rights. Yahya is a member of the Communications Workers Union in Britain and an honourary member of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Anyone who can write to the Home Secretary should please do so and should send us a copy of the letter. Anyone who has an official trade union or other labour and trade union position in Britain - or internationally - and who can give their support to the campaign should please forward us their details, so that we can add their name to the list. This public show of support is very important in persuading the Home Secretary to reverse her decision and stop Yahya and his family being deported.

A fighter for Saudi Arabian trade union rights

Yahya worked for BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia. When the company announced that they were cutting the pay of Saudi Arabian workers by 40% in 2002, Yahya organised the 2000 workers affected and led them to victory, stopping the pay cut.

This, of course, entailed organising a trade union in the plant. 500 attended the first meeting - even though trade unions are illegal in Saudi Arabia - a huge testament to Yahya's abilities and to the determination of these workers to become part of the trade union movement given half a chance. Unfortunately, BAE Systems immediately sacked Yahya.

Yahya fought to get his job back and took the case to a tribunal. In fact, the BAE Systems wished to make it clear that the matter was out of their hands. He has an official letter from the company saying that it was the government officer who ordered that Yahya be sacked.

The whole series of events, the victory, the establishment of the union, Yahya's sacking and his fight for reinstatement received a great deal of media coverage in Saudi Arabia at the time. Yahya soon found himself under surveillance and receiving telephone threats from the government. He was told they would "cut his tongue out" if he didn't stop campaigning. Eventually, he was warned that he should leave the country, if he wanted to protect the safety of his family. This he did.

Yahya and his family arrived in Britain four and a half years ago and asked for asylum.

Now, both the Home Office and the judge from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal appeal hearing are saying that - despite the appalling human rights record of Saudi Arabia where dissidents regularly are jailed, tortured and "disappeared" - Yahya and his family face no threat if they are returned to Saudi Arabia. No one can reasonably agree with this assessment.

A fine record of supporting struggle in Britain

Since he has been in Britain, Yahya has supported every trade union struggle. During the Irish Ferries occupation in December 2005, Yahya not only attended every picket organised, he wanted to sleep on Pembroke Docks until all of the Irish Ferries workers had their jobs back. He has been on picket lines for the Council Workers, Job Centre Workers and Teachers.

This is about protecting the life of a brave, self-sacrificing trade unionist and supporting the fight to build trade unions in the Middle East - as a extremely important part of the fight for a socialist future in the Middle East and internationally.

Please send letters to the British Home Office (preferably handwrtitten):

Home Office
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Download this appeal as a word file

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Deportation:

triangleTears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

triangleMass pressure wins light sentence for 'Stansted 15'

triangle'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

triangle'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict

triangleLeicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops

Wales:

triangleGE Aviation workers march to save jobs

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

triangleSocialist Party Wales: Starmer turns Labour right - Time for a new workers' party

triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

Socialist:

triangleNHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

Saudi Arabia:

triangleYemen's desperate civil war fuelled by imperialism and regional powers

triangleDrone attacks on Saudi Arabia: Tensions ratcheted up

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/8/20

Young Socialists

After Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

10/8/20

NHS

NHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999