Sharif Saed Panah, executive board member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers and an organiser of the 30,000-signature pay-rise campaign, has been released on an $82,000 bail, according to reports by the Union. Saed Panah was arrested on 10 March in the city of Sanandaj in the West of Iran and detained without any charges. Meanwhile, six other labour activists, all members of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, are still in jail. They are: Vafa Ghaderi, Seyed Khaled Hosseini, Ali Azadi, Behzad Farajollahi, Hamed Mahmoud Nejad and Ghaleb Hosseini.
All these activists are being held purely for their union activities.
Throughout the detention of the worker activists, their families have kept up their protest gatherings outside the Intelligence Ministry building in the city of Sanandaj.
Arbitrary arrests and detentions, long prison terms following fabricated trials, torture and abuse, denial of medical care, threatening the families of the detainees, imposition of extortionate bails, and so on, are part and parcel of a programme of persistent persecution which the Islamic regime in Iran practises against workers demanding their rights and attempting to organise.
Only forceful protests in Iran and internationally can put an end to this flagrant denial of worker rights and persecution of labour activists.
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Delighted at the release of Sharif Saed Panah, Free Them Now! calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the other jailed workers and all political prisoners in Iran.
28 March 2013
Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
Shahla Daneshfar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bahram Soroush (email@example.com)