Tehran May Day and Haft Tapeh, 2019 (1)

Urgent call for action: Condemn long prison and flogging sentences against labour activists in Iran

Sample Protest Letter:

Condemn long prison and flogging sentences against labour activists in Iran

I (We) am/are writing this to protest against the long prison and flogging sentences against labour activists in Iran issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judiciary against labour activists and workers’ rights defenders across the country.

Many labour activists and workers’ rights defenders are being prosecuted and imprisoned across Iran and a number of them in recent days have received unjust, harsh and unacceptable long-term imprisonment and inhuman flogging sentences based on bogus national security charges.

  • Esmail Bakhshi, a well-known representative of the Haft Tapeh sugarcane workers, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and 74 lashes. He is currently incarcerated in Evin prison. His charges include “spreading lies”, “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”. After his original arrest in November 2018, Mr. Bakhshi reported being subject to severe beating and torture. Sepideh Gholian also confirmed that she and Bakhshi were tortured after their arrest on November 18, 2018.

 

  • Mohammad Khannifar, a Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Worker and labour representative, has received a sentence of 6 years in prison for “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”.

 

  • Workers’ rights’ advocates and independent journalists Sepideh Gholian, Sanaz Elahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Amir Amirgholi, and Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard were each sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the verdict by Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran. They have all been arrested and detained for supporting and reporting on the Haft Tapeh sugarcane workers’ strikes and protests in 2018.

 

  • Hassan Saeidi, a member of Tehran bus workers’ syndicate, arrested at the May Day rally in Tehran, was released on a 330 million Taman bail following thirty-three days of temporary detention.  He has now been sentenced by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court to five years’ imprisonment, two years’ prohibition from membership in any political party, organization or political and social groups as well as use of a smart-phones. He was charged with “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”. Another charge of “disrupting public order” against him is still pending before the criminal court.

 

  • Seyed Rasoul Taleb Moghaddam, another member of Tehran bus workers’ syndicate and May Day arrestee, was released on bail after spending 11 days in detention. He was sentenced by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court to two years’ imprisonment, two years in exile, 74 lashes, two years’ ban on membership in any party, organization or political and social groups as well as the use of smart phones. He has been charged with “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, and “disruption of public order”.

 

  • Atefeh Rangriz, a labour rights advocate, has been detained since May Day 2019 in Varamin’s Qarchak Prison. In addition to setting an unusually heavy bail amount (2 billion toman) for her, the court has also been refusing her family to process the bail. Ms. Rangriz has been sentenced by Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court to eleven-and-half years’ imprisonment, 74 lashes, two years’ ban from membership in any party, organization or political and social groups as well as the use of a smart phone. She has been charged with “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, “disruption of public order”, and “failure to obey state agents”.

 

  • Marzieh Amiri, a journalist and labour rights advocate, has been detained since May 1, 2019 in Ervin Prison. She has been sentenced by Branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court to ten-and-half years’ imprisonment and 148 lashes. She is charged with “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, “propaganda against the state”, and “disruption of public order”.

 

  • Ms. Neda Naji, a labour rights advocate, is still being held in Evin Prison since May Day despite being issued a bail. She has recently been re-interrogated.

 

  • Ms. Nasrin Javadi, a labour activist, was released on bail following 29 days of detention. She has now been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, 74 lashes, and two years’ ban from membership in any party, organization or political and social groups as well as use of a smart phone on charges of “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, “propaganda against the state”,  and “disruption of public order”.

 

It is extremely concerning and deplorable that these harsh sentences have been issued, without proper court procedures, against workers’ representatives and a number of young women who have done nothing but defending workers’ most basic rights. Both May Day protests and sugarcane workers’ and other recent labour strikes have taken place against anti-workers policies and practices including privatization, unpaid wages, poverty wages, corruption, embezzlement, and repression of workers’ intentionally recognized rights in Iran.

I/ We echo calls by the Iranian labour movement that these harsh sentences must be withdrawn. We call on the government of the Islamic republic of Iran to put an end to arrests and repression of labour activists, teachers and independent journalists in Iran. We demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all jailed labour activists and political prisoners in Iran.  The inhuman flogging sentences must stop in all instances. Internationally recognized Workers’ and human rights including freedom of association, right to organize, freedom of speech and freedom of the press must be respected.

PLEASE SEND protest letters to the electronic addresses below: Please also send them via the Iranian diplomatic representatives accredited to your country, if there is an Iranian diplomatic mission in your country. Although Iranian embassies’ addresses change frequently, please see the link below which might help: https://www.embassypages.com/iran

· Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian)
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

· President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and
@Rouhani_ir (Persian)

· The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran – High Council of Human Rights
[email protected];

· Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Email: [email protected]

 

Cc: [email protected];

Cc: [email protected]

 

 

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

September 10, 2019

[email protected];

www.workers-iran.org;

Sources: Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers, Amnesty International