From: Shahrokh Zamani
To the Director-General of the ILO:
How long will the policy of silence and passiveness towards the suppression of workers’ legal activities last?
I, Shahrokh Zamani, member of the House-Painter Workers’ Union of
Tehran, was sentenced in the anti-worker court of injustice of the
Islamic regime to 11 years’ imprisonment for legal union activities. We,
12 million employees, working in industry and mine, oil and gas,
petrochemicals, agriculture, and construction, including our family
members, are the majority of the population of Iran. Without
exaggerating, it could be said that all of the material and immaterial
wealth of society are the products of the work and toil of our class. In
attesting this truth, just imagine that if our brothers and sisters in
oil and machinery industry stop working: the whole country would be
paralyzed and economic life would stop after one week. In view of this,
what have been the achievements of Islamic rule – whose claims to
justice and fairness have deafened the ears of the whole world – for our
- There has been complete abolition of job security through the
introduction of contemporary and blank signed contracts, as a result of
which workers are totally enslaved.
Among those who have been sentenced to long-term imprisonment through this trick are: Reza Shahabi, Afshin Osanloo, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohammad Jarahi, Pedram Nasrollahi, and I myself. The fabricated accusations are so groundless and absurd that even some officials themselves, due to pressures from abroad, families of those sentenced, and their lawyers, have conceded them to be false! In my case for instance, the judge, under pressure of my family and my lawyer – who had asked him on what evidence base the sentence of his client had been passed – admitted that in the present complicated hierarchy, he is not more than a subordinate who follows orders! According to this admission, my lawyer objected to the approval of my sentence by the appeals court, writing: “this is an approval of a sentence dictated by the Ministry of Intelligence.” After having examined my case, the expert of the Supreme Court stated to my family: “There is no compelling evidence in his case based on which a sentence could be passed.”
Does the ILO not see all of the expulsions, arrests, imprisonment, and
whipping of worker activists?
We worker activists, who are in the worst condition from being subjected to repression and unbridled autocracy, and who are bereft of the slightest legal rights, expect you, the Director-General of the ILO, with respect to the membership of the Islamic regime in the ILO, to do your best to obtain the release of jailed workers in Iran, and to secure the freedom of workers’ activity in Iran according to the agreements of the ILO, including the right to build organisations and strike. We expect you to stop the Islamic regime from continuing the suppression of workers’ organisations and activists.
I shake your hand sincerely