Gabon: Trade Unionist Jean-Rémy Yama Spends his Second Consecutive May 1st in Prison

maryam lahbal
maryam lahbal
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In Gabon, it is naturally a public holiday, a day off and with pay today on the occasion of Labor Day, but Dynamique unitary, the trade union coalition which brings together the majority of Gabonese workers has decided not to participate in any official ceremony. For good reason, it demands the release of its president Jean-Rémy Yama who, for the second consecutive year, is spending Labor Day in the central prison of Libreville.

At the headquarters of the trade union coalition Dynamique Unitary, morale is not looking good. The management team has just written the manifesto which will be read in front of the activists expected on Monday. The main demand is the release of Jean-Rémy Yama.

The interim president of Dynamique unitary, Roger Abessolo, has called for the unconditional release and rehabilitation of Jean-Rémy Yama, a former teacher-researcher who was arbitrarily struck off the staff of the public service. According to Abessolo, it is a shame that the Gabonese State is still using brutal methods to silence trade union expression in the country. He urged the authorities to respect the rights of workers and release Yama immediately.

Police arrested Jean-Rémy Yama, who is known for his outspokenness, at Libreville airport on March 2, 2022, as he was leaving for treatment in Senegal. He is currently facing charges of fraud, breach of trust, and embezzlement of funds intended for the construction of a city of teachers in the capital. However, Yama’s comrades have rejected these accusations and are calling for his release.

The situation has drawn attention to the need for greater respect for the rights of workers in Gabon. Many workers believe that the authorities are using Yama’s case as a way to silence dissent and suppress trade union activity. The call for Yama’s release has become a rallying cry for the workers’ movement in the country, with many demanding that the government take immediate action to protect the rights of workers and ensure that they are not subject to arbitrary detention or prosecution.

Maryam Lahbal

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