The criminal Court of First Instance in Rabat, Morocco, has sentenced trade union leaders Said Elhairech and Mohamed Chamchati each to 2 1/2 years of imprisonment.
Elhairech is the general secretary of the Moroccan Ports Union, part of the International Trade Federation-affiliated L’Union Marocaine du Travail trade union, and chair of the ITF Arab World regional committee. He has been sentenced by the Moroccan court for “obstructing freedom of action,” regarding his work on behalf of crews stranded by the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav ferry company, which he undertook at IFT’s request. He will appeal.
Chamchati, the general secretary of the Moroccan merchant seafarers’ union, was also arrested in June 2012 on charges linked to the cessation of operations of the Comarit-Comanav company. In November 2012, he and others were released without charge. However, now he too has been sentenced to prison.