Djibouti: EI welcomes formerly imprisoned teacher unionist
Education International’s support for Djiboutian colleagues fighting for quality education and respect for trade union and human rights was underscored recently when Djiboutian education activist Omar Ali Ewado visited the global federation’s headquarters.
The teacher unionist and human rights defender Ewado, who is Deputy General Secretary of the Union of Primary School Teachers and President of the Ligue Djiboutienne des Droits de l’Homme(Human Rights League of Djibouti), visited the Education International (EI) headquarters during his ‘tour’ in Brussels, Belgium. He was also welcomed by his other supporters, Amnesty International and the Human Rights League.
Ewado had been targeted by the courts following the publication of a list of victims who disappeared in Djibouti following the security forces-led massacre on 21 December 2015. He was arrested on 29 December 2015, transferred to the central prison in Gabode two days later, and released from prison on 14 February following an appeals court decision that dismissed charges against him.
During its visit to the EI, Ewado explained that teachers in Djibouti are still subjected to harassment, being fired, or imprisonment.
If teachers are imprisoned for trade union activities or activities opposing government policies, their absence is considered an “unjustified absence from work” and their salaries are deducted, he highlighted.
Education International is planning on organising a seminar on education quality over the course of 2016 to support its Djiboutian affiliates, and to provide them with professional competencies to help teachers improve the quality of education.
Education International is also continuing to monitor the situation of teachers’ trade union and human rights in Djibouti.