A persecuted Colombian political activist will meet union leaders and staff from Thompsons Solicitors on a visit to the UK on Thursday (May 21, 2009).
Thompsons Solicitors is hosting an event at Saracens Head Hotel, High Street, Chelmsford to celebrate Carmen Mayusa’s release from prison.
Carmen, 54, a nurse and mother of three, was jailed in May 2006 without trial for carrying out trade union activities and criticising the Colombian government.
Justice for Colombia, supported by Thompsons Solicitors, Chelmsford District Trades Council, UNISON Eastern Region, UNITE (T&GWU Section) and the FBU launched a campaign for the release of a number of Colombian political prisoners including Carmen.
Their campaign was successful and she was released in June 2008. During her visit to the UK she plans to talk to trade unionists and politicians about the political situation in Colombia and how they can help.
Liam Craig-Best from Justice for Colombia said: “There are hundreds of political prisoners languishing in Colombia's jails. They include numerous trade unionists, student activists, community and indigenous leaders and human rights campaigners - all imprisoned for their opposition to Colombian government policies. Their fight for fundamental human, social and economic rights have led them to be jailed - many without charge and held for years without trial.
“It is a great honour to welcome Carmen to the UK and we look forward to finding out how we can work together to the benefit of other Colombian political prisoners.”
Adrian Clarke, Fire Brigades Union Region 9 secretary said: “The FBU believes that solidarity should not stop at the national border. We have a proud history of solidarity with struggle across the globe and extend the hand of friendship to any trade unionist in trouble where ever they may be. Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade union member and we hope that the FBU through its international work has helped Carmen to gain her freedom.”
Karen Mitchell from Thompsons solicitors added: “We are delighted to welcome Carmen Mayusa to Chelmsford. Thompsons Solicitors has a long history of working with trade unions both here and internationally and we hope by meeting Carmen we can learn more about what we can do to give support.”
The event will take place between 6pm and 9pm on Thursday, May 21 at the Saracens Head Hotel, 3 High Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1BE. Photographers and Journalists are welcome to attend.
For further information about Justice for Colombia - www.justiceforcolombia.org.