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Egypt: Front Line Defenders report claims Naval Group's presence during strike, lockout, mass firings & trials of labour rights defenders

Author: Front Line Defenders (Ireland), Published on: 29 January 2019

"Report Reveals Egyptian Labour Rights Defenders Facing “Worst Repression in Decades”, 14 Jan 2019

Trade unionists, labour rights lawyers, and workers organising strikes in Egypt are facing torture, mass firings and trials in military courts, according to a new report released...by Front Line Defenders... The report features a special investigation into the detention and ongoing military trial of 26 civilian labourers at Egypt’s Alexandria Shipyard, where French company Naval Group (majority-owned by the French state) is currently engaged in a contract with the Egyptian Ministry of Defense worth approximately €1 billion. As increasing numbers of working class Egyptians descend into poverty, labour rights activism demanding safe working conditions, minimum wage and freedom of assembly is critical. The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has punished labour rights defenders with arrests, disappearances, beatings in detention, intimidation by State Security officers, withholding of salaries and benefits, mass firings and trials in military courts. Several activists who have participated in factory strikes since the 1960s told Front Line Defenders that in their lifetimes, they had never faced this level of violence and retribution against labour rights activism... Staff from the French company were present at the Shipyard during the strike, lockout, mass firings and ongoing trial of HRDs and workers. As the military trial progressed, French defense contracts with Egypt have increased to a value of €3 billion...

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Related companies: Naval One (now Naval Group)