Police threatens Mahalla labor leaders

State Security has been summouning on a daily basis Ghazl el-Mahalla labor leaders, including Mohamed el-Attar and Sayyed Habib, for hours of interrogation before and following the protest held in the factory yesterday.

Victory for the Mahalla Workers ! النصـر لعمال المحلة

[Above: (L-R) Ghazl el-Mahlla December strike leaders, Mohamed el-Attar and Sayyed Habib. Photo taken by Hossam el-Hamalawy, 9 March 2007.]

State Security officers threatened Attar and others of fabricating drug charges against them if they go ahead with the planned protest on 21 July. The labor activits were also offered “personal privileges” if they decided to cooperate with the security.

Victory for the Mahalla Workers ! النصـر لعمال المحلة

[Above: Mahalla workers demonstrating yesterday. Photo by Kareem el-Beheiry.]

Are the security hassels having an impact? “No, no, no!” Attar told me. “I and my colleagues will continue to defend our rights and the rights of the workers in the factory. They will not scare me. They told me, ‘Go to the human rights organizations, and see if they do you any good.’ I know all Egyptians are behind us and support Mahalla. This gives us strength.”

Victory for the Mahalla Workers ! النصر لعمال المحلة

[Above: Ghazl el-Mahalla workers stage mock funeral for their bosses, during their December 2006 strike. Photo by Nasser Nouri.]