March 1, 2009 – A correction and update: The following report has been corrected and updated. The reported arrest of Mr. Nejati which was issued by a number of labour organizations in Iran on February 28th and March

1st was inaccurate. Please use the following version:

Our apologies and thanks

Leaders of Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate arrested

Labour activists fear more arrests

February 28, 2009 – According to the latest news form Iran , Mr. Reza Rakhshan, the Public Relations director of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate and a board member, was arrested on February 28, 2009. Mr. Rakshan was summoned to the intelligence office on February 28th and was immediately arrested upon his arrival there; later his home was raided by security forces and his belongings including some personal items and other items that belonged to the Syndicate as well as books and computer were confiscated.

A couple hours later in the evening of February 28th, intelligence agents raided the residence of Mr. Ali Nejati, the president of the board of directors of the Syndicate, and searched his home and confiscated some documents related to the Syndicate. At that time, Mr. Nejati was not at home and the agents intimidated his children. Mr. Nejati subsequently contacted the intelligence office and he was told to go back to the intelligence office on Sunday, March 1st which, as of this time, he has not gone there yet.

Also, Mr. Rahim Boshagh, a member of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate, was arrested on February 22, 2009 and he is still incarcerated.

There are fears of more arrests in next few days. These attacks are part of the government crack down on labour activists in Iran . In particular, Haft Tapeh Workers’ syndicate has been very active amongst workers, as the result of which workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company refused to participate in the Islamic labour council’s election in the company. The Islamic Labour Council is a government-sponsored and pro-employer instrument for controlling and repressing independent labour activities in the company. According to the Collaborating Council of Labour Organizations and Activists in Iran , in total only about 30 employees took part in the Islamic labour council’s election on February 22, 2009 despite more than five thousands employees in the company. That was considered a complete defeat of these repressive forces.

In addition five members of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate, including Mr. Nejati, were put on trial on February 17th and 23rd and are still waiting for their verdict. Most arrested and persecuted workers have been charged with “acting against national security”, which is an allegation used frequently by the Islamic Republic of Iran against labour and social activists.

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

Please Send Urgent Protest Letters: (Updated March 1, 2009)

Free leaders of Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate

I am writing to strongly protest against the arrests of Reza Rakshan, public relations director and a board member, and Rahim Boshagh, board member, of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate. Reza Rakhshan was arrested on February 28, 2009 and Mr. Boshagh was arrested on February 22, 2009.

In addition, in the evening of February 28th, intelligence agents raided the residence of Mr. Ali Nejati, the president of the board of directors of the Syndicate, and searched his home and confiscated some documents related to the Syndicate. Also, five board members of the Haft Tapeh syndicate, including Mr. Nejati, were put on trial on February 17th and 23rd and have been waiting for the court verdict. There are fears of more arrests in next few days.

I condemn all these arrests and repression of labour activists and organizations in Iran and demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all incarcerated labour activists including the above workers as well as Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi, Farzad Kamangar, Pedram Nasrolahi, Salam Ghaderi, Khaled Asadi, Azad Hosseini and Borhan Saeedi.

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; ijpr@iranjudiciary.org,info@dadiran.ir,office@justice.ir

CC: info@workers-iran.org

************************
LabourStart Act NOW!
Iran : Drop charges against jailed union leaders
http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=468
_____________________________________________________________
From: The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists
To all independent labor organizations throughout the world

Labor activists in Iran are in danger!

On 29th of Bahman, February 17, 2009, five members of the board of directors of “Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate,” were summoned to court. Next day, the lashing sentences against Ms. Sosaan Raazani, a member of “ Women’s Council,” and Ms. Shiva Khairabady a member of “ Coordinating Committee to help Form workers’ organizations, were carried out in Sanandaj. These women activists’ were “guilty” of participating in May First celebrations of last year. “Haft Tapeh,” activists are being prosecuted because of their strike and creation of an independent Syndicate; they’re to go back to court on February 23, 2009.

In the past few months tens of labor activists including: Mansor Osanloo, Ibrahim Madaddy, Afshin Shams, Pedrum Nasrollahi, Borhan Saiedi, Taha Azadi, Mohsen Hakimi, Bijan Amiri, …have been arrested, incarcerated, or are being pursued by the security forces. In addition, what we’ve witnessed in the past couple of months is a renewed campaign of intimidation towards all labor activists, which is intended to prevent them from organizing upcoming May First celebrations. The goal is stop workers from participating in May First events. This is exactly what happened last year about the same time.

Dear friends and noble working-class mates throughout the world:

Today, the security of tens of labor activists in Iran is in danger. Some organizations that claim to defend workers’ interests on an international level have either chosen to be silent or merely issued a single statement condemning regime’s actions. Today, we labor activists inside Iran do not believe that just issuing statements and condemnations is an adequate response to the situation at hand. In the past few years such activities have had much less impact than before. We’re extremely concerned about the safety of incarcerated and prosecuted labor activists, and ask all of you, our true friends in real labor organizations, to condemn the anti-labor actions of the capitalist regime in Iran , and organize protests in any way, shape of form you deem as an adequate response to the situation at hand. Only through our common struggles we’ll be able to push back the capitalist order. Only through our common actions we’ll be able to prevent capitalists’ onslaughts. We believe that only through united actions of labor movements at an international level we will be able to prevent further aggressions of capitalists and their respective states.

The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists

20 February, 2009

shorayehamkari@gmail.com

– Women’s Council

– A Group of Labour Activists

– Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations

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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