Latest updates on May Day Detainees (as of June 10,2009)

· 8 members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanic Workers still in jail

· Two other labour activists on trial

· Harassment and prosecution of labour activists in recent weeks
· June 26, 2009 – Global Solidarity Action Day

_____________________________________________________________

Latest updates on May Day Detainees (as of June 10, 2009)

– According to the Free Union of Workers in Iran the court in Tehran demanded 50 million toman for Alireza Saghafi, 20 million toman for Mohsen Saghafi, 50 million toman for Gholamreza Khani, 100 million toman for Mehdi Farahi Shandiz and 50 million toman for Kaveh Mozafari. Alireza saghafi and his son Mohsen Saghafi were released on bail on June 10, 2009. The family members of the other three detainees have told the court that these bails are too heavy for them and demanded the unconditional freedom of their loved ones but the court has refused to remove conditions or reduce the bail amount.

– Mr. Jafar Azimzadeh, the chairperson for the executive committee of the Free Union of Workers in Iran , and Mr. Saeid Yuzi, a member of The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations, have been denied visits since June 6th. It is believed that Mr. Azimzadeh has been transferred to section 240 of Evin prison and Mr. Yuzi to section 209 of the Evin prison. These two labour activists have been repeatedly beaten in prison and were put under extreme pressures and interrogations.

– According to the Free Union of Workers in Iran , the May Day detainees who are still in jail include: Jafar Azimzadeh, Saeid yuzi, Rahmat Kiazadeh, Kaveh Mozafari, Saeid Rostami, Mehdi Farahi Shandiz and Gholamreza Khani.

– Family members of the May Day detainees were attacked by police on June 2nd outside the court and a number of women were arrested. They were released on bail on June 6th. They included wife and sister of Mohammad Ashrafi, a member of The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations, and Homa Ajdar-nia, wife of Shahpour Ehsani-rad.

– Four May Day detainees, Ms. Jelveh Javaheri, Mr. Shahpoor Ehsanirad, Mr. Assadollah Poor-Farhad and Mr. Mohammad Ashrafi were released on bail on Sunday evening, June 7, 2009 and were enthusiastically welcomed by friends and family members.

– By now, most May Day detainees have been released on bail. Since the police’s attack and arrests on May First, family and friends of arrested workers have been gathering outside the court demanding the freedom of their loved ones.

8 members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanic Workers still in jail

On May 1, 2009, members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanics Workers in Tehran had a membership meeting during which the meeting was raided by plain clothes security forces and many were arrested.

Although some members were released, the following 8 persons are still in prison: Naser Ebrahimi, Mohammad Ali Aziz Mohammadi, Gholam Hossein Akbari, Abul-hassan Daral-shafayee, Mahmoud Mansour Gillani, Abdullah Yussef Vatan-Khah, Azizullah Yaari and Mostafa Hatami. Their family members and colleagues have been issuing a number of statements demanding their freedom but the authorities refuse to free them and hardly ever allow their family members for visit.

Two other labour activists on trial

On June 9, 2009 two other labour activists were put on trial at the Islamic revolution court of Tehran. Mr. Alireza Asgari, a labour activist and poet, and Mr. Hossein Gholami, labour activist, have been summoned to court numerous times for the past two years. They were arrested along with Mohsen Hakimi, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization, and Ebrahimi Gohari, a member of The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, in December 2007 in Tehran and were charged with “conspiring to act against national security”. Alireza Asgari and Hossein Gholami defended themselves in the court without the presence of any lawyers. No verdict has been given on these cases yet.

On Friday, December 14, 2007, these four labour activists who had gathered in Chitgar Park in Tehran for a social gathering were arrested by security forces. First, Mr. Ebrahim Gohari, a member of the executive board of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, was arrested and transferred to the police station of Chitgar Park . After that, three of his friends, Mr. Mohsen Hakimi, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization, as well as two independent labour activists named Alireza Asghari and Hossein Gholami went to the police station to enquire about Mr. Gohari but all three of them got arrested and detained as well. Since then they have appeared before the court numerous times.

Harassment and prosecution of labour activists in different cities in recent weeks

According to the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations many labour activists have been arrested or summoned to the Intelligence ministry or the court in different cities in recent weeks. They include:

– Mr. Hadi Tanoumand, who is a well-known labour activist and one of the workers who had been arrested along with Mahmoud Salehi on May Day 2004, have been summoned three times in recent weeks by the office of the Intelligence ministry in city of Bukan.

– Mr. Hassan Rasoul-Nejad another labour activists in Bukan, was interrogated on June 8, 2008 by the intelligence agency of Bukan.

– Mr. Shahpour Hossein-Panahi has been charged with participating in Sanandaj’s May Day event this year. He was arrested and detained for one night on June 1st and was taken to the court the day after and later released on bail.

– Mr. Maziar Mehr-pour, member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, has been summoned by the intelligence agency in city of Rasht on jUne 1, 2009.

– Mr. Yousef Abkharabad, member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, was interrogated for two hours on May 30, 2009 by the intelligence agency of the city of Mahabad .

– Mr. Kourosh Bakhshandeh, another member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, was interrogated from 9 AM to 4 PM on May 24, 2009 at the Intelligence office in Sanandaj.

There have been more news of intimidation and harassment of labour activists in the past few weeks.

________________________________________________________________________
June 26, 2009 – Global Solidarity Action Day

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Union of Food workers (IUF), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Education International (EI) and have called for a Global Solidarity Action Day on June 26, 2009 in support of workers in Iran. The Amnesty International has also joined this action. Their demands include “the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned trade unionists including Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi and Farzad Kamangar”; “Unconditional recognition of all independent workers’ organizations in Iran and reinstatement of workers who have been disadvantaged as a result of their support for these organizations”; and “ratification of core ILO Conventions on freedom of association and the right to collective bargain by the Iranian government”…. See this website: http://www.justiceforiranianworkers.org

The IASWI welcomes the June 26th Global Solidarity Action Day and urges workers and labour activists to take part in this day of action. We fully support and promote the demands of workers in Iran including the *2009 May Day resolution of Workers in Iran , which is stated below.

In collaboration with other Iranian labour, left and progressive activists and organizations, and through support of labour organizations and activists in other countries, the IASWI activists have been planning and organizing demonstrations and other actions in support of workers’ struggles in Iran in recent weeks. There have been protests in Canada , England , Switzerland , France and other countries. We’ll issue a more detailed report on all this soon. As labour activists and a solidarity organization, we will participate, and organize relevant actions, on June 26th day of action anywhere we can.

It is important to emphasize that as a labour organization in abroad we do not think the Islamic regime of Iran has any desire in accepting workers’ legitimate demands. This regime has unquestionably proved to be one of the major barriers on the way of workers to establish their own free and independent workers’ organizations in Iran and its so called “presidential election” as always is not going to make any difference, if not worse, as far as the interests of the working people, poor, women, students and other oppressed people are concerned. Iranian workers so urgently need their own organizations in order to be able to fight more effectively against the capitalists’ agenda and neo-liberal policies of privatization, mass lay offs, shut downs, de-regulation and so on. The Iranian regime knows this reality very well and thus it is very determined to suppress the growing labour movement. There is a very clear class struggle in Iran , and the working class in Iran is faced today with extremely serious and major challenges and obstacles.

We are urging workers and rank and file labour activists in different countries to engage in worker to worker solidarity initiatives with the Iranian workers. The labour movement in Iran is genuinely and refreshingly progressive, anti-capitalist and internationalist. It deserves full support of all progressive forces and workers’ and socialists’ organizations around the world. The day of action on June 26, 2009 is highly needed in the same way as other solidarity actions thus far by workers in Iran and other countries, but unless we built a strong and ever-lasting worker to worker solidarity movement with the working class in Iran in different countries and in partnership with workers, and labour and progressive activists and organizations, Iranian workers will continue to suffer and face the greatest difficulties in fighting back against the existing repressive capitalist system and in leading their struggles to decisive victories.

Long Live Workers’ International Solidarity

International Relations- International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

http://www.workers-iran.org

June 10, 2009

*Demands of Iranian Workers on Occasion of May First

International Workers’ Day

1- Guaranteed job security for all workers and abolition of temporary-contracts, blank-signed contracts and all new application forms for employment contracts.

2- In our opinion the minimum wages legislated by the Supreme Labour Council is nothing but imposition of gradual death on working class families. We adamantly demand an immediate increase in minimum wages, based on workers’ own estimates expressed through workers’ real representatives and their independent workers’ organizations.

3- The right to form independent workers’ organizations, strike, protest, assembly, and freedom of speech are all part of our inalienable rights. They should be recognized unconditionally as such.

4- Workers unpaid wages shall be immediately paid. Any non-payment of wages shall constitute a criminal act and litigated. Workers shall be compensated for any damages due to non-payment of wages.

5- The expulsion or lay-off of workers under any pretext must be stopped, and all who have been unemployed or have reached the minimum age of employment and are prepared to work, shall receive unemployment insurance benefits, – compatible with decent living standards, until the time of employment.

6- We demand full equality of women and men in all spheres of social and economic life. All discriminatory laws shall be abolished.

7- All retirees should enjoy a comfortable life free of economic worries. We strongly condemn any bias or prejudice in paying the retirees pensions and benefits.

8- We strongly support all demands of teachers, as intellectual workers, nurses and other toiling sectors of society. We consider them as are our allies, and call for the fulfillment of their demands. We demand annulment of Mr.Farzad Kamangar’s death sentence.

9- Since seasonal and construction workers are denied any and all social benefits, we fully support all their demands to obtain such benefits.

10- The capitalist system is the source of child labour. All children regardless of their parent’s social and economic standing: their gender, national, ethnic or religious background shall enjoy all educational, welfare and medical benefits.

11- We demand release of all incarcerated workers, including Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, and an end to persecution of labour activists and withdrawal of all sentences against them.

12- We fully support all freedom and equality seeking movements, such as students’ and women’s movements. Their arrests, trials and incarcerations are strongly condemned.

13- We are part of the global working class, and as such condemn any expulsion and exploitation of Afghan or other migrant workers in Iran .

14- We appreciate the international support towards workers’ struggles in Iran and express our adamant support for all protests and struggles of workers throughout the world; we consider ourselves their allies. We more than ever before emphasize on international solidarity of working class as the path to liberation from the hardships of the capitalist system.

15- May 1st shall be recognized as an official holiday and instituted in the official national calendar as such. All limitations and restrictions for the commemoration of The May Day shall be abolished.

LONG LIVE THE FIRST OF MAY

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY OF WOPRKING CLASS

May 1st, 2009 (Ordibehest 11, 1388)

The May Day Organizing Committee

– The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company

– The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company

– The Free Union of Workers in Iran

– The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Building’s Painters and Decoration’s Workers

– The Center for Workers’ Rights in Iran

– The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists

– The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations

– The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations

– The Women’s Council

-A Group of Worker Activists

Thanks to all protest letters sent thus far:

Sample protest letter: Protest against repression of May Day Events in Iran

Send your protest letters to:

To: info@leader.ir ; dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir ; info@judiciary.ir ; iran@un.int ; ijpr@iranjudiciary.org ; info@dadiran.ir ; office@justice.ir; matbuat@mfa.gov.ir; info@police.ir;

Cc: info@workers-iran.org; campain1may@gmail.com

…The May Day rally and celebration in Tehran , which was organized by independent Iranian labour organizations on May 1st, 2009, was violently attacked by security and intelligence forces and many were beaten and over 150 people arrested.

Although many of the May Day detainees have been released on bail they will face further charges subsequently. Even though number of detainees is not fully clear, the May Day detainees who are known and still in jail as of June 10, 2009 include: Jafar Azimzadeh, Saeid yuzi, Rahmat Kiazadeh, Kaveh Mozafari, Saeid Rostami, Mehdi Farahi Shandiz and Gholamreza Khani.

Also on May 1, 2009, members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanics Workers in Tehran were attacked by plain clothes security forces and many were arrested. The following 8 persons are still in prison, as of June 10, 2009: Naser Ebrahimi, Mohammad Ali Aziz Mohammadi, Gholam Hossein Akbari, Abul-hassan Daral-shafayee, Mahmoud Mansour Gillani, Abdullah Yussef Vatan-Khah, Azizullah Yaari and Mostafa Hatami.

Moreover, there have been news of numerous arrests and interrogations of labour activists in the past few weeks across Iran .

We condemn these attacks on workers’ rights and independent labour organizations and activists. Workers must have every right to organize and celebrate May Day events. We are asking for the immediate and unconditional freedom of all May First detainees. We also demand that the government to respect workers’ rights to organize, assemble and strike, put an end to persecution of labour activists, free all jailed workers and not to interfere in the affairs of independent workers’ organizations.

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

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed *Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
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)

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: International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (info@workers-iran.org).

You can also send your protest letters to the Iranian Embassy in your country: click: http://www.worldembassyinformation.com/iran-embassy/index.html

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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