To trade unions around the world!
In the past few weeks, the Islamic regime in Iran has dramatically stepped up the arrest, imprisonment and execution of political activists. There are growing concerns that if the regime is not stopped, it will commit even more horrendous atrocities.
Within the first 10 days of 2011 alone, the regime executed nearly 60 people on various charges. Many political activists have received heavy prison sentences, and three have already been executed.*
At the same time, the regime has stepped up its persecution of worker activists, dreading protests by workers following the introduction of a programme of austerity and elimination of subsidies. One labour activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, worker of a polyethylene pipe-manufacturing company, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years’ deprivation from social activity. Also, Reza Rakhshan, leader of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union, has been imprisoned since late December. Meanwhile, Mansoor Ossanlou, Ebrahim Madadi, Reza Shahabi and Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, of Tehran’s bus workers’ union, are all still in jail for their trade union activities.
In protest against this rising wave of executions and persecution, a number of organisations from around the world, which campaign against executions and in support of political prisoners, as well as the Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran, have called for a global day of action on Saturday 29th January.
With this letter, we are inviting you to lend your support to this Global Day of Action in every way you can: by publicising the event, joining the protest in a city near you, sending messages of support, speaking at the event, etc. Please let us know of any act of solidarity you are planning in support of this day. Speakers are most welcome. Please bring union banners, placards, etc.
Together, we can stop this regime of executioners and worker persecutors!
Free Them Now!
Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
16 January 2011
*Ali Sarami, Ali Akbar Siadat and, on 15th January, Hossein Khezri
Monday, 17 January 2011
Monday, 3 January 2011
According to reports published by the Free Union of Workers in Iran (a trade union in Iran), jailed labour activist Behnam (Asad) Ebrahimzadeh has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by Branch 15 of Revolution Court in Tehran. Behnam is a member of the workers’ group Follow-Up Committee to Set Up Free Labour Organisations in Iran.
The news of the sentence was reported by Behnam himself in a telephone contact with his family from prison on New Year’s day. The sentencing follows Behnam’s conviction on 13 December on the charge of Moharebeh, i.e. ‘waging war against God’, for alleged association with a dissident opposition group; a charge which Behnam’s parents have described as pure fabrication intended to frame their son.
Behnam, a worker at a polyethylene pipe-manufacturing factory in the outskirts of Tehran, has already spent nearly 7 months in prison since his arrest on 12 June 2010. Previously, he was arrested, along with scores of other worker activists, at the independent May Day rally in 2009 at Laleh Park in Tehran. The rally, which was called jointly by ten independent workers’ organisations in Iran, was violently attacked by the regime’s security forces and plain clothes agents. Behnam was detained for a month and then released on bail.
Like other labour activists currently in Iran’s prisons, Behnam is in prison solely for his labour activities, for defending workers’ rights. Other labour activists currently in jail in Iran include leading members of Tehran’s bus workers’ union Mansoor Ossanlou, Ebrahim Madadi, Reza Shahabi and Gholamreza Gholamhosseini.
Posted by Bahram Soroush at 21:22