Iran May Day Update 2, Monday 1 May 2006
The May Day rallies in Tehran and Sanandaj have come under attack by the Iranian security forces. At least 17 demonstrators, among them members of the executive board of Tehran bus workers’ union, have been arrested.
In the rally in Tehran, called by the bus workers’ union and held outside the bus company’s headquarters, 13 people were detained. They include the following eight union activists and five as yet unnamed students: Ebrahim Madadi, Mahomoud Houzhabri, Yaghoub Salimi, Abbas Najand Koudaki, Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, Gholamreza Mirzaee, Hassan Dehghan and Gholamreza Khani.
In the rally in the city of Sanandaj four people were arrested, one of whom was later released: Hossein Ghaderi (later released), Farshid Beheshti Zad, Hiresh Naghshbandi and Aram Zamani.
Also, two of those arrested in raids in Sanandaj ahead of the May Day rally, namely, Mohammad Javid and Zahed Javid, are still in detention.
Around two hundred demonstrators defied some 2,000 members of the security forces in the rally in Tehran, which began from around 11 in the morning, local time. According to eye witness accounts, at around 1 o’clock, the security forces, which included members of the Special Guard, as well as plain clothes vigilantes on motor bikes, started attacking the demonstrators. They used batons to beat people up, dragging them on the tarmac. One bus driver had his fingers broken, and a woman demonstrator was severely beaten. The demonstrators booed the security forces, shouting ‘shame, shame’! The slogans shouted at the demo, and written on placards, included:
Our hero Ossanlou must be released!
Union is our certain right!
Strike, demonstration is our certain right!
No war, no bomb, but jobs!
Greetings on international workers’ day!
Workers’ House must be disbanded! (reference to the government-sponsored institution)
Students support workers’ right to independent labour organisations!
Workers, students, unite, unite!
In Sanandaj, despite the home raids and arrests from several days before May Day, a large rally was held, before it was attacked by the security forces.
The Worker-communist Party of Iran has called on all international labour and human rights organisations and individuals to condemn these outrageous attacks on workers exercising their basic right of protest and assembly, demanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran immediately and unconditionally release Mansoor Ossanlou, the imprisoned head of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, and all those detained in the May Day rallies.
For more information, contact the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist party of Iran. Co-ordinator: Shahla Daneshfar ([email protected]). Public Relations: Bahram Soroush ([email protected]). www.kargaran.org.