Support Iranian Trade Unionists!

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solidarity

[H/t to A.L., LabourStart and TUC]

From International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran:

According to various reports from Iran, including statements issued by The Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization, Mr. Mohsen Hakimi, a member of the aforementioned committee and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was arrested by the plain-cloths security agents near midnight on December 22, 2008.

Also, Mr. Bijan Amiri, who is an auto worker and a member of workers’ mountain-climbing board, was arrested on December 22, 2008 in Iran Khodro factory by the security forces. Mr. Hakimi was arrested at Mr. Amiri’s residence the same night after he had gone for a visit along with his wife to Amiri’s residence following the news of Mr. Amiri’s arrest. Security forces brought back Mr. Amiri back to his home that night, and then they searched the house and arrested Mr. Hakimi as well without any arrest warrants. Mr. Hakimi protested against these actions but nevertheless he was taken to an unknown location along with Mr. Amiri. After going to the court, their families have been told to come back in a week to find out about the charges as they are being investigated and interrogated at this time. Mohsen Hakimi had been arrested a number of times before as the result of his labour activities. (Latest update: According to Hakimi’s lawyer, Mr. Mohammad Sharif, Hakimi has been transferred to the section 209 of the Evin Prison).

We condemn this repressive act of the Iranian government and demand Mohsen Hakimi’s and Bijan Amiri’s immediate and unconditional release.

Send protest letters to:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President
Islamic Republic of Iran
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Leader of the Islamic Republic
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street –
Shahid Keshvar Doust Street,
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
E-mail: info@leader.ir
Fax: +98-21 649 5880

From the TUC website:

The TUC has today (Tuesday) joined Amnesty International in a campaign to defend Iranian teacher and union activist Farzad Kamangar, who has been sentenced to death for his political and union activities in Iran. The case against his sentence has also been backed by global teacher union federation Education International (EI).

Farzad Kamangar was arrested in Tehran around July 2006 and was sentenced to death on 25 February 2008, after being convicted of ‘moharebeh’ (or enmity towards God). This is a charge usually only levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state. The trial took place in secret, lasted only a few minutes, and failed to meet Iranian and international standards of fairness.

When the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Committee on Freedom of Association considered Farzad Kamangar’s case earlier this year, they called for his sentence to be overturned immediately, and for claims that he had been tortured to be fully investigated.

The Committee said: ‘The Committee urges the Government to immediately stay the execution of Farzad Kamangar’s death sentence, annul his conviction and secure his release from detention.

‘It also requests the Government to undertake an independent inquiry into the allegations of torture inflicted upon Mr Kamangar during his detention and, if proven true, to compensate him for any damages suffered as a result of the said treatment.’

The TUC is urging union members in the UK to protest by sending a message to the leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khamenei and the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Iran’s record on the repression of union members is making it a pariah state. However, in spite of such violent oppression from the state, trade unionism in Iran continues to grow because of the bravery of people like Farzad Kamangar

‘The TUC and British union members will continue to show solidarity with our colleagues in Iran who are routinely sacked, imprisoned and tortured simply for doing what unionist members all over the world should be free to do.’

NOTES TO EDITORS:

– For more information and to take action, go to www.tuc.org.uk/urgentactionirankamangar

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