Bus workers and other labour activists in Tehran, Mechanical Steel workers in a suburb of Tehran and a group of independent labor activists in Sanandaj were targets of state repression, and were arrested on May1st and the night before May 1st, solely because of their plans or participation in independent May Day celebrations and rallies throughout Iran
Bus workers and other labour activists in Tehran, Mechanical Steel workers in a suburb of Tehran and a group of independent labor activists in Sanandaj were targets of state repression, and were arrested on May1st and the night before May 1st, solely because of their plans or participation in independent May Day celebrations and rallies throughout Iran.
According to various eyewitness reports from Tehran, confirmed by Vahed Syndicate as well, more than twenty members of Tehran’s Bus Workers’ Syndicate were brutally attacked, insulted and arrested in Tehran on May1st, for merely handing out sweets on the streets and attempting to march towards the Ministry of Labor building.
Bus workers had previously announced their plans for a march towards Ministry of Labor building on May 1st, 2014. Even before their march had begun the entire starting point was packed with security forces in uniform and civilian attire, looking for well-known leaders of Bus workers, and as soon as the security agents would see any of those leaders they would forcefully arrest them on site, and violently and disrespectfully force them into a big van. After arresting twenty three Bus workers, and forcing them into the van (which was escorted by four motorcycles, two driving behind and two driving in front of the van) the Bus workers were sent to Evin prison.
In front of Ministry of Labor building there were also reports of two arrests; the arrestees, Ms. Parvin Mohammadi and Mr. Shapour Ehsanirad, both leaders of “Free Union of Iranian Workers” who had publicized calls to hold a rally in front of Ministry of Labour. Ms. Mohammadi’s house was attacked on the night of 30 of April by security forces, entering her residence by breaking the door, but they were unable to arrest her because she was not there. Two other leaders of Free Union of Iranian Workers Messer Jafar Azimzadeh, the Chair of the Board of Directors of “Free Union of Iranian Workers” and Jamil Mohammadi, a member of the Board of Directs, were also brutally arrested in their houses in front of their family members on 30 of April and their computers and some other documents were also confiscated by security agents.
While all arrested Bus workers and both Ms. Parvin Mohammadi and Mr. Shapour Ehsanirad have been released, Messer Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi remain incarcerated. Based on the latest news, they are detained in solitary confinement in section 209 of Evin prison and have been going through intense interrogation.
According to other news received from Iran, members of a labour organization named “Mechanical Steel Workers’ Syndicate” attempting to informally celebrate May 1st in west of Tehran; Baraghan, Karaj, in an event organized for families of workers, were also arrested Although the exact number of arrestees is yet undetermined, Mr. Maziar Gilaninezhad a member of this organization has been confirmed as being arrested.
Also, on May 1st in city of Sanandaj, in Kurdistan province, Messer Khaled Hossaini, Abbas Andryary, Hamed Mahmoudinejad, Fardin Mirkey, Yadollah Samadi, Majid Hamidi, Jalil Mohammadi, Baha Sadoghi, Mehrdad Aminvaziry, Saied Sadeghi and Ms. Manijeh Sadeghi were all summoned to report to police stations and were held in custody for the entire day. In addition to city of Sanandaj, May 1st celebrations were also held in cities of Baneh and Paveh in Kurdistan province as well as major cities of Kermanshah and Rasht.
All these arrests, intimidation and harassment of workers are occurring while the new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran goes on with his empty promises of “freedom” for workers to organize.
Events of May 1st 2014 once more have demonstrated that Islamic Republic is vehemently opposed to any independent initiatives from workers and will go through any length to crush any and all independent voice of workers in Iran. The iron fist of state and its security forces and agents were also one more reminder that no matter what empty promises IRI officials might give, their concrete actions have always confirmed their hostility towards workers and their independent organization and autonomous.
* Prepared by International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)