Beat back the onslaught against labour leaders in Iran


15 Nov, 2008

Friends,

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

www.wpiran.org www.rowzane.com

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (ILSC-WPI)

Head office:
Co-ordinator: Shahla Daneshfar
Public Relations: Bahram Soroush

Comments

  1. says

    First; just wondering, who elected you as the representative of all “workers” in Iran?? What give you the authority to talk on their behalves??Secondly; over 90% of Iranians, especially the lower class are Muslims. How well do you think you represent them with your anti-Muslim hateful views which resemble more the views of extreminist neo-cons than those of any real leftist?

  2. says

    How sad. The European anti-imperialist nationalist left in this country is so warped that it has made you forget what the left represents. The left, let me remind you, is the banner carrier of social change and justice. Its role is to push back reaction and defend humanity. Your problem is that you think the left is there to represent political Islam and any reaction as long as it is deemed anti-imperialist. Though what half baked anti-imperialism – at that! Political Islam is the other side of the coin of US militarism. They need each other and feed off each other. And one needs to oppose both to have a principled position.Don’t worry about who represents workers in Iran or about me – what are you going to do about it? Finally criticising Islam, the Islamic regime, religion’s role in society and so on is not racist. I have quite a number of articles on this issue on my site; it may help you to look at them.

  3. says

    The problem with “imperialism” and fanatic Islamism is their absolutist and over-simplified view of the world; they conveniently stereotype the others and put them all in the same basket with a label on it (evil, terrorist, infidel…) Knowingly or not, you are unfortunately displaying the same absolutism and arrogance as they do. To you, hundreds of millions of Muslims are all the same and criticizing “Islam” is synonymous to criticizing the “Islamic republic of Iran” or the Taliban. Like them, you are convinced that you hold the exclusivity on the “Truth” and declare a Fatva on others and what to “liberate” them from themselves. Meanwhile you are doing nothing but serving the purpose of right-wing neocons.I wish you could see the totalitarianism in your own views; but I doubt you can.

  4. says

    To be uncompromising in defending people’s rights is not absolutism or arrogance; that’s how things have changed throughout the world -by people demanding something better and not being satfisfied with the status quo.I know there is a difference between Islam and the Islamic regime in Iran or political Islam for that matter. If you take the time to read my position on things you will see this. I do think though that because Islam is the movement’s banner it can’t be free from criticism. But criticising Islam in any case is not the same as racism against people. Religion has to be open to criticism; freedom of expression is crucial here in particular otherwise it loses meaning.Also I have advocated citizenship rights and a humanity without labels, saying that people are a lot more than one specific belief they hold or is attributed to them.And finally what I do saved lives; I haven’t issued issued fatwas against anyone; I haven’t threatened to kill anyone. In fact I am under threat for what I have done – I am not sure how you can hold me and the movement I belong to as being totalitarian. I think this may be brisk business for those who still adhere to cold war perceptions about the left but for most, people and organisations are judged on their effect on people’s lives. Also as I said before I hold the human being sacred – nothing else -neither god, nor culture nor nationalism and so on. BTW, if opposing political Islam makes me a neocon – then what does my opposition to US militarism as one pole of state terrorism and the war on Iraq make me – an Islamist? Anyway, I won’t be responding further on this; if need be though I will raise it again on my TV programme but please feel free to make more comments if you’d like.As an aside though, this is an entry on the abysmal situation of workers in Iran and the need to show solidarity with them…

  5. says

    Mrs Namazie I have read a lot of your posts and I have seen several of your speeches. And the reason why I am taking the time to comment on your blog, despite my very strong disagreement with of your views, is that I do believe that your (personal) intentions are good. I do also believe that your views are extremely totalitarian and absolutist. You are “uncompromising” not in defending people’s rights but in imposing YOUR own perception of reality.I have heard you say that mature and adult women should NOT have the free-choice to wear a veil, because YOU have a particular interpretation of what it represents. She can be just as smart, educated and active as you are and have her own philosophical reasons to wear a veil, but if you had it your way; you would BAN her from choosing her own clothing! And this is just an example among many. This totalitarianism, arrogance and sense of moral and intellectual superiority, coupled with a sense of duty to “liberate” people from themselves, is the underlying tone of many of your works, as it is the underlying mentality of neocons and fanatic Islamists.Good luck,ALI

  6. says

    AliI have never said that the veil should be banned for adult women; the burqa and niqab yes but not the veil. And I have said that whilst adult women have the right to veil – this does not mean that we can’t criticise the veil for what it represents. These are two different things. The veil is not just a form of clothing to say the least. If you mean that I have said I want the veil and other relgious symbols banned in public arenas like for teachers or judges – yes but that is to do with secularism and keeping people’s religion private. People are often asked no to wear things or to wear a uniform for work – also all bans are not totalitarian – there are bans on child abuse and Domestic violence for example or smoking in public places.Anyway, I am one of these people you talk about – I have just as much a right as anyone to discuss, debate, and argue my points as the next person. That is all I and many others have at our disposal to change things that are wrong.Anyway, I said I wouldn’t keep writing like this – I have to prepare for my talk in Sweden tomorrow – so again this is my last commentary – I hope.

  7. Anonymous says

    Maryam jan: Excellent. Mr. Ansari’s world views are an instruction on Islamic indoctrination: blind obedience, total subjugation, intrinsic xenophobia, extreme doubt about the merits of their beliefs, cultish mentality, supremacy over other (infidels vs. believers), sense of entitlment of the ummah and so on.

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