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Trade Unionists sentenced to jail in Kanaky

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Six trade unionists in Kanaky (New Caledonia) have been sentenced to jail and a further 18 union activists recieved suspended sentences! Gerard Jodar, leader of the Union of Kanaky and Exploited Workers (USTKE), was sentenced to one year prison. Mr Safoka, who works closely with Mr Jodar, has also been condemned to one year in jail. Two other union activists were given ten months of jail, another one six months, another one four months.

The convictions stem from a industrial dispute with Air Caledonie in May, when hundreds of people stormed Magenta airport.

Speaking to reporters, the USTKE founder and leader of the Labour Party, Louis Kotra Uregei, questions the type of justice that send unionists to prison. “I strongly condemn this type of decision and I’m calling on those who have trusted us and trust us to fight alongside us so that this country one day frees itself of this colonial justice.”

There will be a massive marches in Nouméa this Saturday to demand the freedom of all the political prisoners.

Links: USTKE | Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisation (2006) | Clashes in Kanaky: USTKE calls one-day general strike (2008)