Free jailed workers in Iran!

 

 

Stop persecution of worker activists and political prisoners in Iran. Free them now!

The regime in Iran continues its persecution of worker activists – from more arrests to harassment of those already in jail and their families. These activists are in prison purely for their union activities. Our campaign is working for the immediate and unconditional release of these activists, and calls on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic regime to help secure their release and for an end to persecution of worker activists in Iran.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a labour and children's rights activist and member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers' Organisations in Iran, was arrested in June 2010 and sentenced to 5 years in prison for union activity. Now his 13-year old son Nima is severely ill with cancer in hospital while the criminal regime refuses to let his dad stay by his side. Following pressures by his family and campaigners, Ebrahimzadeh won a half-hour visit on 14 January, and then a temporary release on 20 January. Ebrahimzadeh needs to be by the side of his son throughout his period of treatment. Keeping Behnam in jail is a monstrous crime. He must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Reza Shahabi, member of the executive board of the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company, has been jailed for his part in the great bus workers’ strike in 2006 and in building the bus workers’ union. In April 2012, having already spent 22 months in jail, Shahabi was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from union activity for a further five years. Shahabi began a hunger strike on 17 December in protest against his continued imprisonment, lack of medical care, and abuse and maltreatment by the prison guards. He was released on 7th of January on a temporary medical leave. However, Shahabi needs stay out of prison to continue his treatment. He must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Shahrokh Zamani, a member of Tehran’s Painters Union and the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations in Iran, was arrested in June 2011 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. His crime is defending the rights of workers and creating a union. As usual, they have not charged him with this but instead with trumped-up charges such as "propaganda against the regime" and the like. During his imprisonment, Zamani has been subjected to severe torture and cruelty. He is now being held in the notorious Rajaei Shahr prison.

Mohammad Jarahi, a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations in Iran, was arrested in January 2012 and sentenced to 5 years in prison for union activity. Jarahi’s children are reportedly being harassed as a way of exerting pressure on their father

 Pedram Nasrollahi, a member of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations in Iran, has had a third court hearing where his 19-month sentence has been confirmed. He has also been moved to solitary confinement and is currently incommunicado 

 

 Afshin Osanloo, a labour activist and a truck driver, is currently being held in Rajaei Shahr prison in Iran. He was arrested in the autumn of 2010, and having already spent a year in jail, was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

 

Mohammad Mohammadi, a member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, has been in jail since his arrest in February 2012.
 

Abdolreza Ghanbari, a teacher activist, has been sentenced to death for taking part in an anti-government demonstration in December 2009.

Rasoul Bodaghi, a member of the governing board of Teachers’ Trade Association, is serving a six-year sentence for union activity.

Ali Nejati, leader of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union, and his wife Shahnaz Sogvand are constantly being summoned and harassed.


Two worker activists by the names Sharif Saed Panah and Mozaffar Saleh Nia, both members of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, who were arrested in January last year and after two weeks released on bail, have been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry in the city of Sanandaj.

 

Three members of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organisations, Yusef Ab-Kharabat, Mohammad Molanaie and Vahed Sayedeh, have been arrested in Mahabad city recently.

 

Meanwhile, numerous political dissidents are in prison, among them cousins Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, who have been sentenced to death, and whose executions may be imminent.

* * *
All jailed trade unionists and political prisoners must be freed immediately and unconditionally! Harassment of workers and their families must stop immediately!

4 February 2013

Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
Shahla Daneshfar shahla_daneshfar@yahoo.com,
Bahram Soroush bahram.soroush@gmail.com http://free-them-now.blogspot.co.uk/