Free Ali Nejati Now!

March 8, 2009 – According to the latest news from Iran , intelligence agents raided the residence of Mr. Ali Nejati, the president of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate, and arrested Mr. Nejati on March 8, 2009. In the evening of February 28th, intelligence agents had raided the residence of Mr. Ali Nejati and searched his home and confiscated some documents related to the Syndicate.

Also, according to a report by the Human Rights Activists in Iran , Mr. Mohammad Heydari Mehr, a board member of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate, was given a verdict verbally by the city of Dezful ’s Islamic Revolution Court. He has been given 8 months of suspension, 4 month of imprisonment and 3 years of prohibition form participation in any workers’ election. Four other board members who were put on trial on February 17th and 23rd, Feridoun Nikoufard, Jalil Ahmadi, Ali Nejati and Ghorban Alipour, are still waiting for the court verdict.

Within recent weeks, seven other members of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh workers’ syndicate had been arrested in following order:

February 22, 2009: Rahim Boshagh

February 28, 2009: Reza Rakhshan

March 2, 2009: Ghorban Alipour and Mohammad Heydari Mehr

March 3, 2009: Feridoun Nikoufard, Jalil Ahmadi and Nejat Dehli

All these workers were released by March 5th and 7th, 2009 on bail. At this time, only the president of the Syndicate, Mr. Nejati, is incarcerated. These arrests are part of the recent wave of repression and intimidation of labour activists in Iran . In particular, the government is trying to impose The Islamic Labour Council, which is a government-sponsored agency, on workers in order to undermine workers’ indepedent union. Workers overwhelmingly boycotted the election of the Islamic Council, which is considered a repressive force that supports government and employers.

Free Ali Nejati now!

Release all jailed workers now!

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

Other updates:

– According to the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, on March 8, 2009, Mahmoud Salehi, Mohammad Abdipour and Jalal Hosseini, three of the well-known Saqez 7, were summoned by the intelligence office in city of Saqez . It seems that they were warned about their expected participation in International Women’s Day events and activities.

– Mr. Azad Hosseini, a labour activist in city of Marivan , who was arrested on February 7, 2009, was released on 20 million toman bail on March 5, 2009.

Sample Protest Letter (Updated March 8, 2009)

I am writing to strongly protest against the arrests of Mr. Ali Nejati, the president of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate, on March 8, 2009. According to the latest news from Iran , intelligence agents raided the residence of Mr. Nejati on March 8, 2009 and arrested him. In the evening of February 28th, intelligence agents had raided the residence of Mr. Ali Nejati and searched his home and confiscated some documents related to the Syndicate.

Within recent weeks, seven other members of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh workers’ syndicate had been arrested in following order:

February 22, 2009: Rahim Boshagh

February 28, 2009: Reza Rakhshan

March 2, 2009: Ghorban Alipour and Mohammad Heydari Mehr

March 3, 2009: Feridoun Nikoufard, Jalil Ahmadi and Nejat Dehli

All these workers, with the exception of Mr. Nejati, were released on March 5th and 7th, 2009 on bail.

I condemn these attacks on an independent labour organization and its activists. I demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all incarcerated labour activists including Mr. Ali Nejati as well as Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi, Farzad Kamangar, Pedram Nasrolahi, Salam Ghaderi, Khaled Asadi, 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

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

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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