Workers’ Struggles in Iran

News and Reports- Updates as of February 11, 2009- IASWI
·Three labour activists in Marivan arrested

·The Continued Imprisonment of Mohsen Hakimi

·Bijan Amiri Freed on Bail

·Taha Azadi Summoned to court again

·Workers of Ahwaz Pipe Mills protest non-payment of wages

·Workers of Khameneh Textile have not been paid for the past 19 months

·Slain workers of “Khatoon Abad” are never forgotten!

· Protest against the repression of labour activists in Iran !(Sample Protest Letter- updated February 11, 2009

·Solidarity with the general strike of workers in France

·Solidarity message to workers’ organizations in Palestine

·CUPW Condemns arrests and repression of labour activists in Iran

·CGT protest Letter

·CGT Transport’s Protest Letter to the IRI’s Ambassador in Paris

· Protest Message by: APTUF/WWO

· Protest Letter by Ken Loach

· LabourStart Act Now! Iran : Save the life of Farzad Kamangar ________________________________________________________________________

·Three labour activists in Marivan arrested

According to the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, at 2 AM on February 07, 2009, the security agents in city of Marivan in Kurdistan Province raided the residences of Salam Ghaderi and Khaled Asadi, both labour activists and members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations. They arrested Ghaderi and Asadi and taken them to an undisclosed location. Also, Mr. Azad Hosseini, a labour activist in city of Marivan , was arrested on February 7, 2009.

·The Continued Imprisonment of Mohsen Hakimi

February 11, 2009 – Yesterday Mohsen Hakimi who has been and is still in solitary confinement for more than fifty days in Ward 209 in Evin Prison ( Iran ), during a phone call home from jail, stated that he is still in solitary confinement and under interrogation. During the call home, he emphasized that many times he told those in charge at the jail as well as his interrogator that there is absolutely no justification in keeping

him in solitary confinement and in prison. For all this time, he has been protesting his detention and treatment. During these fifty days, he was prevented from visits with his family as well as having his demand to have books and newspapers rejected.

Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization

February 11, 2009

http://www.hamaahangi.com

khbitkzs@gmail.com

·Bijan Amiri Freed on Bail

According to the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization, Mr. Bijan Amiri was freed after 40 days on a 100 million Toman bail ($10,000). He was incarcerated in section 209 of the Evin Prison. Mr. Amiri is expected to appear in court after some time to face charges.

·Taha Azadi Summoned to court again

Taha Azadi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Free Union of Workers in Iran has been summoned to court for the second time. Mr. Azadi is expected to appear in court on February 16, 2009. He is charged with propaganda against the system. Mr. Azadi, along with Mr. Javanmir Moradi, were arrested in May for participating in May Day event and spent 47 days in prison and endured physical and emotional torture. Taha Azadi and Javanmir Moradi, both member of board of directors of Free Union of Workers in Iran , were released on a $10,000 bail. They were arrested in Asalooyeh – Booshehr on May Day and were jailed for 47 days.

· Workers of Ahwaz Pipe Mills protest non-payment of wages

200 workers of Pipe-making factory in city of Ahwaz (Ahwaz Pipe Mills) held a protest in front of the governor office on February 9, 2009. Workers demanded the payment of their wages which have not been paid for the past four months. The Pipe-making factory is part of the Ahwaz Rolling and Pipe Mills Co. (ARPCO). About 750 employees work at the factory but they have ongoing issues with overdue wages and mandatory vacations and other work related issues. Workers vowed to continue with their protests until their demands are met.

·Workers of Khameneh Textile have not been paid for the past 19 months

According to the Free Union of Workers in Iran , on February 10th, more than 100 workers of Khameneh Nasaji (Khamene Textile) gathered outside the office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in East Azerbaijan province. These workers have not been paid for the past 19 months. Workers carried banners with messages such as “we are hungry, we are hungry. Who is accountable for our poverty and destitution?” Workers have declared that they will continue to protest until their demands are met. Workers state that they can no longer wait for the authorities since no action in their support has been taken.
Slain workers of “Khatoon Abad” are never forgotten!

History of workers’ movement is saturated with great many sacrifices. Workers’ gains have always been accompanied by repression from capitalist system. In the struggle for a better life worthy of human beings, thousands of the most noble and valiant workers have sacrificed their lives. Throughout the world workers have been targets of capitalist violence, and have lost their lives in order to improve the conditions of their class.

This has also been the case in Iran . From the days of monarchy in early 20th century to this very day, workers have faced the armed forces of the state in an unequal confrontation. The Islamic regime from its inception in 1979, has demonstrated its vile nature. An early instance was shooting and killing of unemployed workers and a student in Isfahan . There is a list of 550 workers who were executed in the jails of Islamic Republic until 1988, and it’s been provided to international institutions; such repression has continued to this vary day.

In January of 2004, anti-riot and security forces of the Islamic Republic attacked a peaceful gathering of more than 200 copper workers and their families, from air and ground, resulting in the death of four workers and a student. This attack sparked a vast workers’ protest movement within Iran , and also brought worldwide condemnation from all labor activists and their respective organizations. An investigation into this killing and identification of its perpetrators has been a demand of all labor organizations. Islamic Republic has adamantly refused to take any responsibility in this case. The IASWI, which has organized several protest campaigns for “Khatoon Abad” workers, still demands an investigation and condemnation of the Islamic Republic. We ask all labor organizations to seriously pursue justice in this case and not forget what happened to “Khatoon Abad” workers five years ago. IASWI will be utilizing all its resources in defense of Iranian workers and their struggles.

Long live the memories of slain workers of “Khatoon Abad”

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

February 2009

Protest against the repression of labour activists in Iran ! (Sample Protest Letter- updated February 11, 2009)

I am writing to strongly protest against a new wave of arrests and repression of labour activists in Iran . According to the latest news, the current labour activists who are known to be in jails across Iran are as follows:

– Mr. Mansour Osanloo, the president of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburb Bus Company, sentenced to five years imprisonment, incarcerated since July 2007. Mansour Osanloo was kidnapped by plain clothes agents in the evening of Tuesday, July 10, 2007. Osanloo has been beaten numerous times by security forces. He has some serious health problems.

– Mr. Afshin Shams, a member of “Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ organizations”, a member of the “Committee in Defence of Mahmoud Salehi” and a member of ”Caricaturists. He was arrested at his work in city of Aligoodarz on July on July 3, 2008 and later was transferred to Dastgerd prison in Isfahan . On November 1, 2008, he was November 1, 2008. Afshan Shams received his verdict from the court according which he has been sentenced to one year imprisonment. The verdict was given without the presence of Afshin’s lawyer.

– Mr. Farzad Kamangar, a 33 year old teacher and union and human rights activist from Kurdistan province. He has been sentenced to death by the Iranian government and has been severely tortured. Despite international protests his execution sentence has not been revoked. For more info please refer o the http://www.labourstart.org/farzad

– Mr. Mohsen Hakimi, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization and a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was arrested by the plain-clothes security agents near midnight on December 22, 2008 in Tehran . According to the latest news, he is incarcerated in section 209 of the Evin Prison still, in solitary confinement for more than fifty days.

– Mr. Ebrahim Madadi, the vice-president of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. Mr. Madadi has been arrested a number of times before. The latest arrest took place in the North Branch of the Employment office in Tehran on December 27, 2008. Mr. Molayee, Maddi’s lawyer, has told the BBC Persian that Mr. Madadi has been arrested according to a court order issued by division 14 of the Islamic Revolution Court according to which he has been sentenced to three and half years of imprisonment for “acting against the national security” and “propaganda against the system” . However, Mr. Molayee reports that the court order was never given to him or Mr. Madadi, thus they did not have a chance to appeal it. The court claims that they had verbally informed Mr. Madadi about it when he was detained for another case previously. Mr. Madadi had spent about 4 months in prison last year. Mr. Madadi is currently detained in Evin prison.

– Mr. Pedram Nasrolahi, who is a member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations in Kurdistan , arrested on December 24, 2008.

– Mr. Salam Ghaderi labour activists and member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations in city of Marivan . He was arrested on February 7, 2009.

– Mr. Khaled Asadi, labour activists and member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations in City of Marivan . He was arrested on February 7, 2009.

– Mr. Azad Hosseini, labour activist in city of Marivan , arrested on February 7, 2009.
– Mr. Borhan Saeedi, a labour activist and member of the Women’s Council, an independent non-profit organization, in the city of Sanandaj , arrested on January 14, 2009. He is detained in Sanandaj’s Central prison. He suffers from heart problems.
– Mr. Bakhtiar Rahimi, a labour activist in Kurdistan was arrested on December 23, 2008. Mr. Rahimi had been previously incarcerated and released after a few months.

In addition, many labour activists in Iran are under suspended sentences or await trials and are suspended or expelled from their workplace as the result of their labour activities, including many member of the Vahed Syndicate in Tehran as well as five leaders of the Syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate who were put on trial on December 20, 2008 and now await their verdict in February 2009.
Therefore, I condemn all these arrests and repression of labour activists and organizations in Iran and demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all incarcerated workers. I also ask the Iranian government to respect workers’ rights to organize, assemble and strike, put an end to persecution of labour activists and not to interfere in the affairs of independent workers’ organizations.

Name

Organization

Position

Send Copy of your Protest Letters to:

info@leader.ir, dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir, info@judiciary.ir; iran@un.int

CC: info@workers-iran.org

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

· Solidarity with the general strike of workers in France

The International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran issued a statement in which we expressed solidarity with workers in France and supported their general strike on January 29, 2009. The IASWI activists participated in marches and rallies in France and distributed the solidarity statements below. We also translated other statements from independent workers’ organizations in Iran in support of the general strike in France . See below messages from IASWI, Tehran Vahed Workers Syndicate, Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate and the Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists in Iran :

Click: Les messages de solidarité aux travailleurs en France

Click: Solidarité avec la grève générale des travailleurs en France le 29 janvier 2009

In solidarity with the Palestinian people and in condemnation of the Israeli government’s war on Gaza : Solidarity message to workers’ organizations in Palestine

Click: CUPW Condemns arrests and repression of labour activists in Iran

Click: cgt protest letter

Click: cgt transport protest letter to the IRI Ambassador
Click: Protest Message by: APTUF/WWO

Click: Protest Letter by Ken Loach

Click: LabourStart Act Now! Iran: Save the life of Farzad Kamangar

Click: Sample Protest Letter, updated Feb. 11, 2009

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

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

http://www.workers-iran.org

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