15 Nov, 2008
The Islamic regime of Iran has intensified its onslaught against labour leaders. That is, in fact, the regime’s response to the expanding workers’ protests aimed at gaining their demands as well as their relentless endeavours to create their independent organizations. By pressurizing and threatening labour leaders the regime is, indeed, trying to oppress the growing labour movement. The following are a few recent examples of such pressures and threats:
- Tayyeb Mollaa’i, the spokesperson of the Iranian Workers’ Free Trade Union, was arrested, for the second time, on November 12, 2008, and is currently held incommunicado. Mr. Mollaa’i is one of the 13 workers arrested in Sanandaj on May 1, 2007, and sentenced to 91 days’ imprisonment and 10 lashes. Those sentences were later overturned as a result of the protests by Iranian Workers’ Free Trade Union, labour organizations and humanist institutions throughout the world.
- Taahaa Aazaadi, substitute member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Workers’ Free Trade Union, has been summoned by Deputy District Attorney of Kangaan and ordered to present himself in 7 days’ time. Mr. Azaadi was also arrested on the charge of participation in holding May 1 ceremonies in the southern town of Asaluye, along with Mr. Javaanmir Moraadi, and was put under various forms of physical and psychological torture for 47 days at the police detention centre in Asaluye and then at central prison of the city of Bushehr.
- Imprisonment sentences of 6 to 14 months have been handed down for five members of the Board of Directors Tehran Public Bus Transit Company (Vaahed) Syndicate, namely, Messrs. Said Toraabiyaan, Ali Zaadhoseyn, Abbaas Nazhandkudaki, Yaqub Salimi and Ataa Baabaakhani. Also Ebraahim Gowhari, a member of the syndicate, has been brought to trial. These have occurred against the backdrop of Mansur Osaanloo, the President of Vaahed Syndicate, having been in jail since January 10, 2007, and recently beaten severely again.
- on November 1, 2008, Afshin Shams-e-Qahfarkhi, a member of Co-ordinationg Committee for Assisting to Create Independent Workers’ Organizations, also a member of the Iranian Cartoonists’ Association, was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment with Islamic punishment, i.e., lashing.
- Reza Abdi-e-Sonbolaabaadi, a high school teacher at the Southern Tehran district of Naaziaabaad, has been sentenced to 5 months imprisonment and 20 lashes for his taking part in the teachers’ protest gathering on May 9, 2007, in front of the Parliament building. It has been ruled that he may pay $200 instead of going to jail for 5 months and $50 instead of receiving 20 lashes.
- Board of Directors of the newly formed Union of Haft Tappe Sugar Cane Complex Workers have been threatened for their “illegal” act of organizing a union.
- leaders of the on-going protests of Kiyaan Tire factory in Tehran have been threatened many times and subjected to various forms of pressure.
The above have transpired only within the past month.
The condition of the working class in Iran is such that the workers’ wages are, according to the state’s own statistics, as low as a third of the poverty line. Even those meager wages fall into arrears for months at a time, and are only partly paid every time after the workers strike and/or take other protest actions. Every effort to get organized, every attempt to organize a strike, etc., in order to oppose those unbearable conditions, is confronted with threats as well as persecution and prosecution of the activists. Attempts to hold May 1 rallies and ceremonies are answered with incarceration and lashing. These and other oppressive actions on the part of the regime have intensified during the past weeks. The regime is increasing the pressure with the intention of intimidating the workers into consenting to imminent, far more unbearable economic conditions. It is attacking labour leaders in order to drive back the society as a whole. Today the workers, as well as the people at large, in Iran are in need of an international solidity more than ever before.
We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Tayyeb Mollaa’i, Mansur Osaanloo and all other political prisoners in Iran. We demand the expulsion of the Islamic Republic, this anti-worker and anti-human regime, from International Labour Organization as well as all other international bodies of the global community. The immediate cessation of pressures and threats against labour leaders and political activists is the urgent demand of all of the workers in Iran.
International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran expects all labour organizations across the world to support the above-mentioned demands as well as the justified struggles of the workers and the people of Iran against the murderous Islamic regime.
Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator
Bahram Soroush & Jamshid Hadian, Public Relations
International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (ILSC-WPI)