May 15, 2013: The level of harassment, intimidation and “legal” persecution against Iranian Labour activists has reached new heights in the past few weeks, resulting in new arrests and incarceration.
Despite the Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts to establish an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the days preceding May Day, International Workers’ Day, workers throughout the country went on to organized various May 1st events.
In city of Sanandaj in Kurdistan Province (northwest of Iran) a successful march and rally was held, in defiance of the security forces. Subsequent to the May Day march and rally, some event participants were arrested, and there is a heavy presence of security forces throughout the city.
Many Labour activists have been given stern warnings. According to a report by the Coordinating Committee To Help Form Workers’ Organizations, after protests by families of arrestees, most of the arrestees have been released on bond but might face further prosecution. Also in that city, Messrs Jalil Mohammadi and Hamed Mahmoudnejad have been arrested since May 2nd. There is no confirmed report of their whereabouts.
Renowned imprisoned labour activist, Shahrokh Zamani, was violently forced to attend a court hearing on May 1st, in which he was condemned on a sham charge of insulting “the leader” (Ali Khamenei, The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran).
Bahman Ebrahimzadeh, who was given a temporary release in order to care for his 14 year old son who is suffering from cancer, has been under heavy pressure to return to prison, while his son is bedridden and needs his father on his side. Reza Shahabi was also returned to jail despite his need for continued intensive medical care.
Another prominent labour activist, Ghaleb Hossaini, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, has been released from the City of Sanandaj’s Central Prison on 150 million toman bail on May 13, 2013 after 54 days of incarceration. Ali Azadi, also a member of the Coordinating Committee…, was incarcerated for 63 days and was released on 50 million toman bail on May 9, 2013. They both went through serious and lengthy interrogations.
Other Labour activists including Pedram Nasrollahi, Mohammad Jarahi and Rasoul Bodaghi are also still incarcerated. Mohammad Jarahi has been seriously ill with cancer and was transferred to prison shortly after his treatment.
We strongly condemn the repressive measures of Islamic Republic against Labor activists and demand their immediate, unconditional release.
For more information and updates see:
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)