As the protest climate in Iran heightens so does the repression against political and labour activists. In particular, as we get close to May Day and the presidential elections in June, the regime steps up its repressive measures from fear of protests. Currently, a number of worker activists sit in jail. Some have already served several years in prison; some were recently arrested. They are all in jail for fighting for worker rights. They 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. The extension of his medical leave to be with his son has been refused.
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. The extension of his medical leave has been refused.
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, was in March given a six-month jail sentence for “insulting the regime”.
Ghaleb Hosseini, a member of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, has been in detention since 19 March 2013.
Ali Azadi, a member of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, has been in detention since 7 March 2013.
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 and cruelty. 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, was arrested in December 2009 for taking part in the mass anti-government demonstration.
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Through forceful protests in Iran and internationally we can put an end to this flagrant persecution of labour activists.
All jailed workers must be freed immediately and unconditionally!
29 April 2013
Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
Shahla Daneshfar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bahram Soroush (email@example.com)http://free-them-now.blogspot.co.uk/