June 20th is the International Day in Support of Political Prisoners in Iran. Free Them Now! the Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran joins this day of action and calls on all workers’ and rights organisations and individuals to support this day.
Currently, many worker activists and numerous political prisoners are in jail in Iran. Some of the trade unionists in jail include:
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a labour and children’s rights activist, and a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers' Organisations in Iran, who has already served three years of a five-year sentence, while his 14-year old son is under treatment in hospital for leukaemia. Despite his son’s continued illness, Ebrahimzadeh has been told that his temporary leave to be with his son will not be extended an he has to return to prison.
Reza Shahabi, a 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. He has already served three years of a four-year sentence. Shahabi suffers from multiple medical conditions, including a severe back problem.
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. Following a recent operation on his thyroid gland, the doctors have advised recuperation outside prison conditions. However, Jarahi has been refused medical leave.
Sharif Saed Panah, executive board member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers and an organiser of the 30,000-signature pay-rise campaign, detained and later released in March 2013 on an $82,000 bail, has been given a six-month jail sentence for “insulting the regime”.
Mozaffar Saleh Nia, executive board member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, was detained last year and again in January this year, has been handed a six-month jail sentence for “insulting the regime”.
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. Zamani has been subjected to severe tortures. He is now being held in the notorious Rajaei Shahr prison.
Pedram Nasrollahi, a member of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations in Iran, is in prison on a 19-month jail sentence.
Rasoul Bodaghi, a member of the governing board of Teachers’ Trade Association, is serving a six-year sentence for union activity.
Abdolreza Ghanbari, a teacher activist, is in prison for taking part in the anti-government demonstration in December 2009.
In addition, several worker activists arrested in conjunction with May Day 2013, are still in jail. They include Jalil Mohammadi, a member of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations in Iran, and auto workers Mohammad Ghasemkhani, Bahram Saeedi and Mohammad Ehyaee.
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Join us in any one of the many events being held around the world on June 20th (watch this space for details) to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and jailed workers in Iran.
29 May 2013
Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
Shahla Daneshfar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bahram Soroush (email@example.com)