Education International
Education International

Djibouti: global education community welcomes release of two colleagues

published 31 March 2017 updated 11 April 2017

Following a worldwide solidarity campaign initiated by the education union movement, Omar Ali Ewado and Ahmed-Kadar Nour, leaders of Djibouti’s Syndicat des Enseignants du Premier Degré, have been released after eight days in jail.

Education International (EI) and its affiliates are relieved to learn about the release of the Syndicat des Enseignants du Premier Degré(SEP) General Secretary, Ahmed-Kadar Nour, and the SEP Deputy General Secretary, Omar Ali Ewado. The men were released by the Djibouti Security Services (SDS, from French acronym) on 27 March.

“We have just been reunited with our families and happy to be free again,” wrote Nour in a message to EI. He thanked the teacher unions’ global federation “for all the efforts which you successfully made to set us free”, as well as its member organisations, the Comité Syndical Francophone de l’Education et de la Formation– a body gathering EI French-speaking affiliates -, “and the whole community of teachers who mobilised to obtain our liberation … among other countless supporters”.

Letter of support

He stressed that the main reason for their arrest and imprisonment was a letter the SEP sent to the President of Turkey supporting arrested and imprisoned Turkish teachers. “It had not been to the taste of Djibouti’s Government, to which the Turkish embassy had complained after receiving the support letter for teachers, initiated by EI, signed and sent by SEP,” Nour added.

EI mobilisation

The release follows global activity calling for the men’s release. On 21 March, EI issued a protest letter supporting its Djibouti colleagues. In it, EI urged the country’s public authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Ewado and Nour, and guarantee their physical and psychological safety, and to immediately cease intimidation measures and remove all arbitrary sanctions against teachers and education personnel. A campaign to free the education trade unionists was also launched on LabourStart.

Education International will continue to closely monitor the teacher unions’ situation in Djibouti.