Sample Protest Letter

Please note that, based on the news/updates below, the IASWI is urging labour activists and organizations worldwide to protest against the outrageous whipping sentences as well as arrests and imprisonment of labour activists in Iran . Your strong reaction will definitely help our fellow workers in Iran .  You might find the following sample protest letter useful.

In Solidarity,

August 12, 2008

 Sample Protest Letter

 

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Presidency,

Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: + 98 21 649 58 80

Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

 

I am writing this to express my (organization) outrage over the recent whipping sentences and jail terms against labour activists in Iran . I (We) have been informed that Ms. Sousan Razani and Ms. Shiva Kheirabadi each were sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and 15 lashes; Mr. Abdullah Khani was sentenced to 91 days prison and 40 lashes and Mr. Seyed Qaleb Hosseini was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and 50 lashes. The verdict was issued by the Criminal Court of Sanandaj – branch 101. The above labour activists are sentenced so severely only because of their participation in 2008 May Day celebration in Sanandaj. In addition, Mr. Khaled Hosseini, a worker activist, was sentenced to 91 days suspended jail and 30 lashes because of his efforts in support of Mahmoud Salehi who was imprisoned at the time.

 

More shockingly, I (we) were informed that on July 20, 2008, Mr. Farzad Kamangar was sentenced to death after having a seven minutes trial. Farzad Kamangar is a teacher, who has been tortured gravely for allegations such as collaborating with Pejak Party, membership with PKK, transporting explosives and etc. Various individuals, progressive forces and organizations from Iran and abroad have protested his detention and the recent death sentence against him but your government has disregarded all these pleas.

 

Another activist, Mr. Afshin Shams, was arrested in July 2008. Mr. Shams is a labour activist, a member of “Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ organizations”, a member of the “Committee in Dense of Mahmoud Salehi” and a member of ”Caricaturists Society”. Moreover, there have been other arrests and charges against labour and social activists in Iran as well as dismissal of labour activists, including the recent dismissal verdict against nine members of the bus workers syndicate.

 

All the above arrests and repressive measures are clear indications of intensified offensives against the entire labour movement in Iran . I (We) call on your government to unconditionally and immediately release all prisoners of conscious and repeal all charges and sentences against labour activists in Iran. We also call for the freedom of Mansour Osanloo, the president of Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, who has been imprisoned since July 2007 and is serving a five year jail term. We also demand the immediate recognition and realization of human and workers’ rights to all workers in Iran , including the rights to organize freely and to strike.
Name

Organization

Position

 

Send Copy of your Protest Letters to:

 

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed *Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir OR istiftaa@wilayah.org
Fax:   011 98 251 7774 2228

Head of the Judiciary:
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building
Panzdah-Khordad Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax:   011 98 21 3390 4986 (may be difficult to reach)
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir

Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Institutions in Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 733 02 03, E-mail: mission.iran@ties.itu.int

 

CC: info@workers-iran.org

***********************************************

 

News and Reports-Workers’ Struggles in Iran- Updates as of August 12, 2008

 

Outrageous whipping sentence and prison terms for worker activists

–          Sousan Razani and Shiva Kheirabadi each were sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and 15 lashes; Abdullah Khani was sentenced to 91 days prison and 40 lashes and Seyed Qaleb Hosseini was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and 50 lashes. The verdict was issued by the Criminal Court of Sanandaj – branch 101. The above labour activists are sentenced because of their participation in 2008 May Day celebration in Sanandaj. These activists will appeal the verdict. 

In addition, Khaled Hosseini, a worker activist was sentenced to 91 days in jail and 30 lashes. He was accused of “disturbing public order and agitation” before Sanandaj Central jail in favor of Mahmoud Salehi’s freedom last March.  The sentence is suspended for two years.

 

Four minutes Trial: Capital Punishment for Farzad Kamangar!

–          On July 20, 2008 Farzad Kamangar was sentenced to death after having a seven minutes so-called trial; three minutes reading the allegations and four minutes “trial”. His lawyer was never been notified of any offense! Farzad Kamangar, a young teacher was incarcerated on August 18, 2006. He was tortured gravely for allegations such as collaborating Pejak Party, member of PKK, transporting explosives and etc. Since then, he has been transferred from one jail to another, from one city to another and within various judicial and Security authorities. During last two years, various individuals, progressive forces and organizations from Iran and abroad have protested his detention but the Islamic Republic of Iran has ignored all.

 

Afshin Shams, labour Activist behind the bar!

–          On July 04, 2008, Afshin Shams was arrested in Aligoodarz city. Two days later, the security guards raided his father’s house in Isfahan , searching the entire house. They took all his drafts and scripts related to labour movement issues.  Afshin is a labour activist, a member of “Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ organizations”, a member of “Committee in Dense of Mahmoud Salehi” and a member of ”Caricaturist Society”. We call all worker activists and all progressive groups and organizations to intervene immediately. Afshin has to be released unconditionally. He is a prisoner of conscience and his arrest is aiming to suppress the whole worker’s movement.

 

Another Teacher, Mehdi Shandiz, Was Arrested!

–          On July 26, 2008, Mr. Mehdi Shandiz, a social and civil rights activist was arrested by security Officers of the Tehran Vahed Bus Company (Sherkat-e –Vahed) while collecting signatures for freedom of Mansour Osanloo in Khavaran City Bus Terminal.  Ebrahim Madadi, the vice-president of Syndicate of Sherkat-e-Vahed reported that Shandiz is currently in the general detention section of Evin prison but for a few days no one knew about his whereabouts until he contacted Madadi by phone. Madadi said that Mehdi Shandiz is a teacher of a non-profit school who intended to register an organization for teachers in non-profit sector with the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs.

  

Court confirmed dismissal of nine members of Vahed workers’ syndicate

–          After more than three years of dealing with arrests, expulsion and prosecution, the Administrative Justice Tribunal reaffirmed the expulsion of 9 members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company. According to a statement issued by the Vahed Syndicate, Saeed Torabian, Reza Fazeli, Ali Akbar Pir-Hadi, Saeid Nemati-Pour, Mansour Hayat-Gheibi, Atta Baba-Khani, Soltan-Ali Shekari, Vahab Mohammadi and Amir Takhiri have officially lost their jobs with the Tehran Bus Company after the verdict issued by the Court of Administrative justice. The above labour activists were all working for the company as bus drivers but have been facing persecution and prosecution following the formation of their union, which was one of the first independent unions in Iran in more than 20 years. The syndicate reported that these workers will appeal this unjust decision.  

 

Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company

–          The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company has called on all workers who would like to nominate themselves for Board of Directors to register before 87/05/18. This committee is formed by workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company which employs more than five thousand workers. Within the last few days, some workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company went on strike and gathered before the management office. They insisted if they didn’t get positive answer, more workers would be joining them and the management should expect another round of strikes. During last round of strikes, workers got back three months of their unpaid wages.  The company has been transferred to a new management following a series of strikes, and workers are expecting their representatives’ views would be considered.

 

Iran Khodro Workers ended their strike 

–          As was reported last month, thousands of workers at the Iran Khodro Car Manufacturing Company went on strike on June 28, 2008. The company agreed to accept some of workers’ demands including an end to mandatory over-time and wage increase. Workers temporary ended their strike until furthr ntice.

 

Protests against unpaid wages and factory close-down

–          Alborz Tire workers have launched a new wave of protests and job actions. They are owed five months of unpaid wages. Workers have not received more than three months pay. They recently organized their general assembly during which workers decided to continue with their protests and job actions. They blocked roads nears the factory on August 12, 2008, and have announced that they will soon protest outside the office of the president of the Islamic republic. 

–          Workers of Shahryar Dam in Mianeh City went on strike last month. They demand their unpaid wages for their last four months. The employer promised to pay back half of the wages if they end the strike. The workers have asked for full payment.(Dastrang News).

–          Workers of Sanandaj Textile Company gathered in Farvardin Square and started their rally towards the Factory. The company has suddenly shut down all operations. The guards attacked the rally and took their banners away. However, workers continued their rally. On August 11, 2008, Sanandaj Textile workers decided to walk towards the office of the Ministry of LAbour. According to Free Union of Workers in Iran , workers from other factories joined them in a solidarity attempt. It is not yet clear if all thee workers will be able to return to their jobs.

–          More than 40 workers of Mahloran Company in Broojerd city haven’t been paid for 7 months.

 

Other News:

Extensive Executions:

–          30 people were executed on July 27, 2008 in Tehran . Saeed Mortazavi, the attorney general of Tehran described them as “drug dealers, murders and insurgents”. A confident source in one of Tehran public prosecutor’s offices reported them as a part detainees of the mass protest to the increase of gas price last year. “The execution of these people is in accordance with  the new regulations called” Social Security Enhancement Plan”, Saeed Mortazavi said.

Many Human Rights groups, organizations and activist condemned the executions and demanded the IRI to stop these practices immediately. Mohammad Mostafaee, the attorney defense for youth crimes, in an interview with Deutsche Welle Broadcasting declared that, “my understanding is that these so-called “insurgents” by the government are special people. The date of their execution is not a routine practice. Normally, every last Wednesday of each month, the Tehran criminal prosecutor’s office carries out the executions, but in this case, they will be executed on Sunday. These are people who have had their trial in either “Enghelab Islami” (the Islamic Revolution’s) Courts or in the special crimes’ courts.

_______________________________________________________________

 

For more information, contact info@workers-iran.org or alliance@workers-iran.org

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

Background Information: www.workers-iran.org

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