5 April 2018

Sudan: Workers Union Head Interrogated in Port Sudan

Port Sudan — The head of the Alternative Workers' Union of the Sea Ports Corporation was detained and questioned for four hours in Port Sudan on Tuesday.

Osman Tahir, the head of the union, told Radio Dabanga that on Tuesday members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) took him to their offices in Port Sudan and interrogated him for four hours.

He explained that he was held against the backdrop of his objection to the Port Authority Act in a meeting with the director general of the new port authority Abdelhafiz Saleh on the occasion of the day of service.

Osman Tahir held the responsibility to the Minister of Transport in the event of the passage of the Port Authority Act, which the union says will lay-off 21,000 workers in the port due to privatisation.

He called for the Act to be withdrawn from Parliament. He described the Act as "a mystery that hands authority to the centre and foreign companies and weakens the power of the port authority".

On Tuesday, workers at the Port Authority boycotted the new director's speech with hostile chants after he said that "the government has the right to sell or privatise the port".

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