May 13 General Strike Update

Today 13 May, a general strike has been called in Iranian Kurdistan by political opposition groups.

Despite the regime’s unofficial military rule and extensive security to intimidate people, many cities in Kurdistan have joined the general strike.

Reports coming in reveal that Bukan, Saqez, Kamyaran, Mahabad, Divandara and Piranshahr and many parts of Marivan and Sanandaj have joined the strike.

Divandara, Piranshahr and Kamyaran have completely shut down. The regime’s security forces have broken down some store doors and are putting pressure on store owners to open their shops. They are being threatened with losing their business license if they do not reopen.

Many children have not gone to school and it is reported that schools are to shut down at noon despite teachers having been warned to keep schools open on the day.

Many of the shops and workplaces in Miyandoab and surrounding villages have shut down. All of the ones in Marivan and the market and workplaces in Mahabad are shut. People are also not entering government offices for any work they may have. Many streets are completely empty.

Heartwrenching interview with Farzad’s lawyer

Listen to a heartwrenching interview with Farzad, Shirin and Mehdi’s lawyer, Khalil Bahramian in Persian on Youtube or see below:

He says he is shocked at the executions; all their files were under review. He breaks down crying when he says Shirin had promised to study; she didn’t even speak Persian (but Kurdish). They made up a case against her. He says what has happened is heinous. In five, six minutes they decide to kill someone – it is intolerable.

He goes on to say you killed them – why? For what crime? For setting of bombs – it is a lie and I say it here…

Here is some background information on Farzad Kamangar

Here is a transcript of a conversation Farzad had with his mother in January 2010.

Interview with Farzad Kamangar’s brother after the execution.

Here is a letter from Farzad Kamangar dated November 2006.

Farzad’s letter to his students written in 2008.

Here is a video clip of Farzad with his students on Youtube or below:

Another letter from Farzad on how one is forbidden to write.

Letter from Shirin Alam Hooli.

A letter from Shirin in January 2010.

Update on the May 9 executions

Four days after the heinous executions of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian, five political prisoners, by the Islamic Republic of Iran their families have still not succeeded in getting the bodies of their loved ones back for burial. The families remain in Tehran going from office to office and building to building in order to get a response. The regime is demanding that the families of the executed give guarantees that there will not be any ‘troubles’ when the bodies are released to them.

Today 12 May, the families of the executed have been standing in front of the Islamic Assembly (Majlis) from early morning. Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer and relatives have informed us that they are still waiting.

Yesterday, in Maku, Shirin’s mother and sister were arrested and subsequently released. In Tehran and in front of Tehran University where protestors had gathered the regime brought out its security in full force and in Iranian Kurdistan it has imposed an unofficial military rule.

There is news from Iranian Kurdistan that tensions have heightened there. Thousands of leaflets calling for a general strike on May 13 have been distributed in various cities. Many of the schools in which Farzad was a teacher and in villages around Kamyaran are closed.

According to the latest news from Evin prison, the executed were told of their execution the night before and immediately taken to special cells. Shirin was studying when they came for her. Other prisoners said they heard her shouting and asking for permission to call and say goodbye to her mother, which was not granted. Others in her unit waited for her until morning when the guards came to collect her things and were then told that she had been executed.

On Saturday 8 May at 4pm Farzad spoke to his family though unaware that he was to be executed early May 9.

The regime brutally executed them and now refuses to hand over their bodies. It has even issued arrest warrants for Farzad’s mother and other relatives.

The International Committee against Executions and Iran Solidarity calls on people everywhere to step up their protests against executions and the Islamic regime of Iran and join the May 13 general strike in Kurdistan and elsewhere.

Warrants issued for Farzad Kamangar’s mother and family members

Today Wednesday 12 May, families of the five executed political prisoners still wait to get the bodies of their loved ones held hostage by the regime. The International Committee Against Executions has received news that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a number of Farzad Kamangar’s family members, namely, Soltaneh Rezaie (mother), Mehrdad Kamangar (brother), Shirin Kamangar (sister), and Javid Kamangar (15 year old nephew).

Call for General Strike in Kurdistan

The following is a statement released by the Kurdistan Committee of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, condemning the execution of five Kurdish political prisoners Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam Hooli, Mehdi Hosseinian, Farhad Vakili, and Ali Heydarian on May 9, 2010. The letter demands the unconditional release of political prisoners and supports the call for a general strike in the province of Kurdistan, Iran on May 13, 2010.

On Sunday May 9, 2010, the Iranian government committed another heinous crime when they executed five political prisoners Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam Hooli, Mehdi Hosseinian, Farhad Vakili, and Ali Heydarian.

Thousands of our dear ones have been put to death for demanding their rights so the sinister and backwards regime and its system of exploitation, stealing, and suppression, can be saved. We must resist these crimes and stop this killing machine.

To object to this crime, Komeleh (The Kurdistan Organization of The Communist Party of Iran) has issued a call to the people of Kurdistan for a general strike on Thursday May 13, 2010.

The Worker-Communist Party of Iran supports this call. We call upon all of the people of Kurdistan, the workers and university students, teachers and school students, shopkeepers, and civil servants to object to the regime’s savage crime and to honour the memory of our loved ones by uniting.

A wide and successful general strike will be an important factor in the continuation of our just struggle, in consolidating our empathy and unity, and in organizing and preparing for the conclusion of the battle to overthrow the sinister regime. In recent months, millions of people throughout the country, in many ways, have demonstrated their hatred and opposition to the government and their will to bury it. The success of this strike, while the regime is struggling with a wide array of crises, will be a crushing response to their crimes and an important step toward strengthening the political balance of power in favor of the peoples’ struggle for freedom throughout all parts of Iran.

Freedom-seeking people of Kurdistan:

Unify in support of this call and participate in this general strike to respond forcefully to the ruling criminals. We must not leave our dear ones alone in prisons. In objection to the execution of these dear ones, who lost their lives on charges of opposition to the government and having a difference of opinion, we need to react with utmost force to demonstrate to the regime that they will be confronted decisively. You should demand the unconditional release of political prisoners by this wide and simultaneous strike in protest against execution, torture, and any forms of pressure against prisoners.

Our strike will undoubtedly be greeted with joy by millions of freedom-seeking Iranians throughout the nation and will create a new environment for toppling the Islamic Republic.

Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Victory to the revolution of freedom-seeking people of Iran.

Kurdistan Committee of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran
May 10, 2010

translated by persian2english

Join May 13 General Strike against Executions in Iran

In the early hours of Sunday 9 May 2010, the Islamic regime of Iran executed political prisoners Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian. The four young men and one woman were executed for their political opposition to the regime. Farzad Kamangar was a teacher and human rights activist who was arrested in 2006 and charged with ‘enmity against God’ in a ‘trial’ that lasted seven minutes. Mehdi Islamian was arrested on May 4, 2009 and spent six months in solitary confinement; his brother has also been executed. Shirin Alam Hooli was arrested in May 2008 in Tehran and sentenced to death in November 2009. Ali Heydarian and Farhad Vakili were imprisoned since 2006/2007.

The sentences were carried out in secret, without their families or lawyers being informed, and despite the fact that three of the cases were under review. The Islamic regime has refused to hand over the bodies of the dead unless their families guarantee that there will be no protests in Iran and abroad.

Since yesterday, thousands have gathered in protests at the Islamic Republic’s embassies and consulates in various cities across the globe. In London, Paris and Frankfurt angry demonstrators pelted the buildings with eggs, red paint and stones.

The families of the five had called for a demonstration outside Tehran University in Iran on Monday 10 May, which was attacked by the regime’s security forces. On May 13 a general strike has been called in Iranian Kurdistan and elsewhere. Many are expected to join this day of protest.

Iran Solidarity is outraged at the executions of the five political prisoners as well as the recent execution of 45 Afghan immigrants in Iran and calls on people everywhere to stand in protest against executions in Iran and everywhere by joining the May 13 general strike and ongoing protests at the regime’s embassies or consulates or by carrying out acts of solidarity against executions wherever they are. Another 27 political prisoners are at imminent risk of execution and need public support.

Farzad Kamangar’s mother recently said: ‘If anyone can do anything, please do. Do not let them execute youngsters en masse. You and the world shall be my defence. Please let the world hear my plea.’

Notes:

1. You can find out about protests in various cities on the Iran Solidarity blog. You can also add your protests here.

2. Join us on 20 June 2010 in London and across the world to break that silence and take a stand against Sharia law and Islamism and in defence of universal rights and secularism. June 20 is particularly poignant because it is the first anniversary of Neda Agha-Soltan’s extra-judicial execution in broad daylight by the Islamic regime of Iran at a protest there. Like Neda, all Farzad Kamangar and the others wanted was freedom. You can find out more about the rally here.

3. Support Iran Solidarity and its demands by signing up to our petition.

4. Join our daily acts of solidarity with the people of Iran. Since Monday July 27, we have organised acts of solidarity EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is easy to join in – just videotape or photograph yourself doing something and send it to us to upload to our blog. You can see other acts here.

5. Set up Iran Solidarity groups in your neighbourhoods, workplaces, universities and cities. So far we have groups in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Like the solidarity committees during the anti-apartheid era, these committees can be instrumental but we need many more in every city in the world for that to happen.

6. For more information or to send in your daily acts of solidarity, contact:
Maryam Namazie
Iran Solidarity
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
iransolidaritynow@gmail.com
www.iransolidarity.org.uk

Our Farzad is alive

Farzad Kamangar’s mother holding his photo. Farzad was executed on May 9.

I woke up crying this morning having dreamt of Farzad Kamangar who was executed early morning on May 9 along with four other political prisoners. I did not know him but his life and humanity have moved me.

Like many others who never met him, I mourn his loss and wonder how long they will kill our loved ones whilst the world stands aside and looks…

I held my sleeping four year old son close to me and thought of Farzad’s mother who had lost her most precious beloved to the killing machine that is the Islamic regime of Iran.

‘My Farzad is alive’ she shouted in a face off with the regime’s security.

Yes, he is. And we pledge to keep his memory – and that of so many others – alive by bringing down this brutal regime.

Do not let them execute our youngsters


Photos of the five political prisoners executed on May 9, 2010


‘Today, my work has just begun,’ mother of executed political prisoner, Farzad Kamangar, holding his photo.

‘If we stay silent, these executions will continue,’ Mohammad Amin Kamangar, relative of executed political prisoner Farzad Kamangar

In the early hours of Sunday 9 May 2010, the Islamic regime of Iran executed political prisoners Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian. The four men and one woman were executed for their political opposition to the regime. The sentences were carried out in secret, without their families or lawyers being informed, and despite the fact that three of the cases were under review.

Farzad Kamangar (born 1975) was a teacher and human rights activist who was arrested in 2006 and charged with ‘enmity against God’ in a ‘trial’ that lasted seven minutes. Mehdi Islamian was arrested on May 4, 2009 and spent six months in solitary confinement; his brother has also been executed. Shirin Alam Hooli was arrested in May 2008 in Tehran and sentenced to death in November 2009. Ali Heydarian and Farhad Vakili were imprisoned since 2006/2007.

The families of the five have called for a demonstration outside Tehran University in Iran for Monday 10 May. Many are expected to join the protest. Since yesterday, thousands have gathered in protests at the Islamic Republic’s embassies and consulates in various cities across the globe. In London, Paris and Frankfurt angry demonstrators have pelted the buildings with eggs, red paint and stones. Protests will be continuing throughout the week,

Iran Solidarity is outraged at the executions of the five political prisoners as well as the recent execution of 45 Afghan immigrants in Iran and calls on people everywhere to stand in protest against executions in Iran and everywhere by joining gatherings at the regime’s embassies or consulates or by carrying out acts of solidarity against executions wherever they are. Another 27 political prisoners are at imminent risk of execution and need public support.

Farzad Kamangar’s mother recently said: ‘If anyone can do anything, please do. Do not let them execute youngsters en masse. You and the world shall be my defence. Please let the world hear my plea.’

Notes:

1. You can find out about protests in various cities on the Iran Solidarity blog. You can also add your protests here.

2. Join us on 20 June 2010 to break that silence and take a stand against Sharia law and Islamism and in defence of universal rights and secularism. June 20 is particularly poignant because it is the first anniversary of Neda Agha-Soltan’s cold-blooded murder in broad daylight by the Islamic regime of Iran at a protest there. Like Neda, all Farzad Kamangar and the others wanted was freedom. You can find out more about the rally in Trafalgar Square here.

3. Support Iran Solidarity and its demands by signing up to our petition.

4. Join our daily acts of solidarity with the people of Iran. Since Monday July 27, we have organised acts of solidarity EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is easy to join in – just videotape or photograph yourself doing something and send it to us to upload to our blog. You can see other acts here.

5. Set up Iran Solidarity groups in your neighbourhoods, workplaces, universities and cities. So far we have groups in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Like the solidarity committees during the anti-apartheid era, these committees can be instrumental but we need many more in every city in the world for that to happen.

6. For more information or to send in your daily acts of solidarity, contact:
Maryam Namazie
Iran Solidarity
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
iransolidaritynow@gmail.com
www.iransolidarity.org.uk

Farzad Kamangar and 4 other political dissidents executed in Iran

Join the campaign to expel the Islamic regime of Iran from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

In the early hours of Sunday 9 May, the Islamic authorities in Iran executed Farzad Kamangar and four other political prisoners. Farzad Kamangar was a teacher and a human rights activist, whose release had been the object of high profile campaigns in Iran and internationally over the past two years. The other four political activists who were executed on Sunday in Evin Prison were Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian.

All five had been sentenced to death for their political opposition to the regime. The sentences were carried out in secret, without their families or lawyers being informed.

The bereaved families of the five have called for a demonstration outside Tehran University for Monday 10 May. Many are expected to join the protest, despite the brutality of the regime. At the time of writing, hundreds of Iranians in Europe have gathered in protest outside Islamic Republic’s embassies and consulates. In London, Paris and Frankfurt angry demonstrators have pelted the buildings with eggs, red paint and stones.

These latest political killings are part of the Islamic Republic’s brutal last attempts to cling on to power in the face of the anger, hatred and massive protest of the people in the past year and their clear demand for this despotic, medieval regime to go. However, these executions are not expected to dent the resolve of the people and will only deepen the loathing for this regime in Iran and around the world.

We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations and all those outraged at this barbaric act to condemn the Islamic regime of Iran in the strongest possible terms. In particular, we call on all to join the campaign of expulsion of this regime from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This regime should not be allowed to seek legitimacy for itself through its continued membership of the ILO. A regime which jails, flogs, tortures and executes workers and political dissidents; a regime which executes children and stones women to death; a regime which shoots at unarmed demonstrators and rapes detained protesters should not be not allowed to set foot in any international body or forum, and least of all in an organisation bearing the name of worker. This regime belongs not in the ILO, but in an international court to answer for its crimes against humanity.

We call on the governing body of the ILO to annul the membership of the Islamic Republic forthwith on grounds of its flagrant violation of human rights and its denial of a human life to workers and the people in Iran. The expulsion of the Islamic regime of Iran from the ILO has been the demand of the workers in Iran, conveyed to the ILO on numerous occasions. It has been the object of repeated protests at the International Labour Conferences by our party’s International Labour Solidarity Committee. The appalling human rights violation by the regime in Iran have been brought to the attention of the ILO through tonnes of evidence submitted to its governing body and various committees by the world’s trade unions, by our party and by worker campaigns and activists year after year. However, unfortunately, the ILO executive has failed to heed these calls.

With the murder of Farzad Kamangar and four other political dissidents today, any bureaucratic excuse for the continued membership of this regime in the ILO becomes totally unacceptable; any diplomatic justification for continued ties with this regime will be viewed with utter disgust by the workers and people in Iran and by the world labour movement and progressive community. We call on the ILO to immediately withdraw its invitation of the government of Iran to the June 2010 International Labour Conference. We call on trade unions globally to support our call and urge the ILO to annul the Islamic Republic’s membership.

Finally, in the event that, despite worldwide protests, the ILO admits the Islamic Republic to the June conference, we call on the workers’ groups and delegates from all countries represented to walk out of any session at which the delegates of the Islamic regime of Iran may be present. As in previous years, our party, on behalf of the workers and people of Iran, who remain unrepresented in the ILO, will mobilise for powerful protests at the conference.

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (ILSC-WPI)
Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator
Bahram Soroush, Public Relations

FAX your PROTEST – 9th May! Demand the release of Jamal Saberi!

Dear Friends!

The Doro-Chiba (National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba) is holding a conference on Japan’s migrant and refugees’ situation and laws this Sunday 9 May. They will be reading a message from Jamal Saberi, the Iranian political activist who is currently in detention and in danger of being deported to Iran. In the past Jamal Saberi has attended several of these conferences as a speaker on the crimes of the Islamic Regime of Iran and in support of workers, women and human rights in Iran. This time however Jamal who is currently being held in a Tokyo detention centre was only able to send a message to the conference when members of the Doro-Chiba visited him in detention.

Three weeks ago, in that very same detention centre, a 55-year-old woman from the Philippines died as a result of the harsh conditions in the detention centre. She is the third person in as many months to die there.

In support of the conference in Yokohama and in protest at the barbaric treatment of refugees by the Japanese government the Free Jamal Campaign is asking you to send your protest FAX to the office of the Japanese Ministry of Justice on the day of the conference, 9 May.

It is an easy thing to do and will have a huge impact. Japan will see that people around the world are against its brutal treatment of refugees and immigrants and it will also show the Japanese authorities that we are firmly behind the struggle to free Jamal Saberi! So please FAX your protest!

There is also a demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy in Washington DC organised by Mission Free Iran on Sunday at 1pm at 2520 Massachusetts Ave NW.

Please find a sample letter to fax below.

Thank you!
International Federation of Iranian Refugees

—————————–
Ministry of Justice Fax: +81-3-3592-7393

To: Japanese Ministry of Justice & UNHCR Japan

I am writing to express my strongest concern over the fate of Jalal Amanzade Nouei (aka Jamal Saberi) who is currently in detention in Tokyo and is going to be deported to Iran from Japan.

Mr. Jalal Amanzade Nouei is a well known political opponent of the Islamic Republic of Iran that came to Japan in 1990. In 1992 he joined the Worker-communist Party of Iran [WPI]. Mr. Amanzade Nouei has been politically active with the WPI and the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) as well as the International Committee Against Executions (ICAE) for the past 18 years in Japan, including printing and distributing WPI literature as well as writing several articles against the Islamic regime of Iran, which have been published in Persian and Japanese magazines and websites. He also has organized and participated in major political activities against the Islamic regime of Iran in Japan.

His lengthy political activities with the WPI, IFIR, and ICAE and against the Islamic regime of Iran have come to the attention of the Iranian authorities.

As laid out in the Geneva convention on the Rights of Refugees (1951) Mr. Jalal Amanzade Nouei can become a refugee “sur place” as a result of his own political actions, such as associating with WPI, IFIR, ICAE and expressing his political views in Japan. His political activities came to the attention of Iranian authorities.

It is well known that the Islamic Republic of Iran has arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and killed Iranians who were forcibly returned to Iran if they had unlawfully departed from the Islamic Republic of Iran, had stayed abroad without authorization, and/or had applied for asylum in another country.

I consider the forcible return of Jalal Amanzade Nouei to Iran a violation of the principle of non-refoulement. This prohibits the forcible return of a person to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened. It is a principle of customary International Law, which binds all states. Japan is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Mr. Amanzade Nouei clearly fulfils the criteria to be recognised as a refugee as detailed in relevant international instruments. He holds and has expressed opinions not tolerated by the Iranian authorities. His opinions and his relationship to the Iranian opposition organizations which are banned in Iran have come to the attention of the Iranian authorities. He faces a threat to his life or liberty if refouled to Iran.

I urge the Japanese Immigration Authorities to immediately release him and to reconsider its decision and grant him refugee recognition based on his well-founded fear of persecution on the ground of political opinion.

I am awaiting your immediate intervention in this life-threatening situation. Needless to say, UNHCR and the Japanese government will be held accountable for Jamal Saberi’s life and freedom.

Sincerely,

Bita Ghaedi’s deportation cancelled

Message from Bita and Mohsen: DEPORTATION CANCELLED!

Here is a message from Mission Free Iran.

The below is a mail sent by Mohsen at 9:27pm EST on May 4 2010:

Dear all

Bita’s flight has been cancelled at 6.30pm. Home Office had to cancel Bita’s removal direction after it had been ordered by United Kingdom High Court(5pm) and EU Human Right Court(6pm).

I use this opportunity to express our gratitude to all who support us in different occasions all the time. Even though Bita is still in detention centre and it seems there is a long way to get our aim but it is the hardest step that we could successfully pass with your help and I am sure you will support her till the end.

The solicitor Mr Vasoodoven has already asked Home Office to release her and as we are sure they are not going to do that so he will ask for bail court.

We have to collect and prepare all the documents for Oral Hearing set on 21 July.

In the end, thanks for all who had planned to join us for tomorrow demonstration, there won’t be any at the moment.

Your sincerely
Bita & Mohsen

Stop Bita’s deportation today!

IKWRO just sent this in:

Bita Ghaedi is being deported to Iran on Wednesday where she is likely to be executed because she dared exercise her free speech. This is a clear cut case of human rights abuse and the UK government is too busy electioneering to care.

Here is more information on Bita’s case.

Join our protest on Wednesday at Heathrow. Details for the protest are here.

If you cannot make the protest, click on the above link for some immediate direct action you can take.

Also, here is another petition in her defence.

Here is an article on her case in the Guardian.

Baring one’s body can be a legitimate form of resistance

Here is a piece in the Paris Herald on ‘Boobquake’ versus ‘Brainquake.’ Since I only found out about Brainquake when the journalist in question contacted me for a comment (which she didn’t use), let me briefly say the following:

Of course women are wrongly sexualized everywhere including with the veil and sexual apartheid. But for Brainquake to reduce Boobquake to the sexualisation of women misses the point. Ridicule is a wonderful way of criticizing religion and religious rules, particularly given that it is becoming more and more taboo. Also intent is important. Jennifer’s intent was a defence of women’s rights and status and cannot be compared with pornography.

More importantly, though, when you are confronted with an Islamic movement that deems women’s bodies as sources of corruption and chaos, and actually criminalises everything from a woman’s hair, her bare arms or legs, let alone breasts, baring one’s body can become a legitimate form of resistance.

I don’t know Golbarg Bashi and cannot speak of her intent but I find her reasoning against Boobquake sounding very much like that of the Islamic regime of Iran’s and other Islamists, which say they promote women’s dignity and intellect whilst imposing medieval laws that veil, segregate and deem women as sub-human. I would think that if she was as concerned about women’s rights as she says, she would not be calling on campaigners to remain passive and merely donate to ‘Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.’ Her call is a disservice to the international solidarity that all progressive social movements demand and deserve and particularly the important women’s liberation movement in Iran.

Joint May Day Resolution of 10 Labour Organisations in Iran

May Day is the day of international solidarity of the working class; the day of workers’ worldwide protest against poverty and inequality. On this day millions of workers throughout the world stop work, take over the streets, declare their outrage at the countless calamities that capitalism has imposed on humanity, and shout out the cause of liberation from oppression and exploitation and the building of a better world.

The protest at the hardships of the capitalist system and workers’ call for equality echoes around the world at a time when in Iran the celebration of this day is banned; right now many organisers of May Day 2009 have either been sentenced to prison or are threatened with heavy sentences, and tens of worker activists and leaders are in prison for building workers’ organisations and defending their human rights.

Such horrific lack of social rights is being imposed on workers in Iran at a time when capitalism in Iran, three decades after the 1979 revolution, has cut the workers’ pay to a quarter of the poverty line; by not paying workers’ wages on time, by mass firings and layoffs and through temporary and so-called ‘blank’ contracts, it has imposed appalling impoverishment on millions of working-class families. In addition, to ensure ever more profits for capital, they are abolishing subsidies and closing down factories, so as to take away the last means of sustenance from the tables of workers’ families to pockets of capitalists.

But as we showed in the 1979 revolution and have shown in the past few years, we the workers of Iran will not put up with such impoverishment and lack of rights, and despite imprisonment and repression, we will stand up to the violation of our most evident rights, at the forefront of the people of Iran, and will not let them ruin our livelihood and the right to life even further. We are the main producers of the wealth and resources of society, and regard it as our right and the right of all the people of Iran to enjoy a human life at the highest standards possible for humanity today.

Towards this end, while protesting against the current situation which since May Day last year has subjected workers and people of Iran to repression and lack of rights, we insist on the following demands and call for their immediate and unconditional realisation:

1- It is our indisputable right to set up organisations independent of the state and employers, to strike, to protest, to demonstrate, to assemble and to exercise free speech; these rights should be recognised as the inviolable social rights of workers and all the people of Iran;

2- We regard the plan to abolish subsidies (so-called ‘goal-oriented’ subsidies) and a minimum wage of 303 thousand tomans [US$300 dollars] per month tantamount to imposing a gradual death on millions of workers’ families; we call for the immediate stoppage of the plan to abolish subsidies and for the rise in the minimum wage to one million tomans [US$1,000].

3- Workers’ delayed wages must be paid immediately and without any excuses; failure to pay wages must be made a prosecutable offence, and workers affected reimbursed with damages;

4- Firings and layoffs under any excuses must be stopped; all unemployed persons and all those who have reached the age of employability and are ready for work should be provided with unemployment benefit at a level which affords a dignified human life;

5- We demand the abolition of temporary and ‘blank’ contracts; we demand job security for workers and all wage-earners, the highest possible standards of hygiene and safety at work, and the dismantling of all government-sponsored bodies in the workplace;

6- We demand the abolition of the death penalty and the immediate and unconditional release of Ebrahim Madadi, Mansoor Ossanlou, Ali Nejati and all worker activists and all activists of other social protest movements, and the revoking of all judicial actions against them;

7- While condemning any attack against workers’ and people’s protests, we regard protesting against lack of rights and free expression as the indisputable and inviolable right of workers and all people;

8- We demand the repeal of all discriminatory laws against women and full and unconditional equality of women and men in all fields of social, economic, political, cultural and family life;

9- We demand the provision of a prosperous life for pensioners, free of economic worries, and an end to any discrimination in payment of pensions, as well as the provision of social and medical care;

10- Child labour must be abolished; all children, irrespective of their parents’ economic and social status, and regardless of gender and national, racial or religious attributions, must be provided with equal and free educational, welfare and medical services;

11- We declare our support for all social movements which are demanding freedom, and strongly condemn the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of their activists;

12- While declaring our categorical support for the demands of teachers, nurses and other working people in society, we regard ourselves as their allies and call for the immediate realisation of their demands;

13- We are part of workers of the world, and condemn the firing of, and any discrimination against, immigrant Afghan workers and workers of other nationalities;

14- While expressing our appreciation for all acts of international solidarity with the struggle of the workers in Iran, and while categorically supporting the struggles and demands of workers around the world, we regard ourselves as their allies, and more than any time before stress the international solidarity of workers for liberation from the hardships of the capitalist system;

15- May Day must be recognised as an official holiday and designated as such in the national calendar; any prohibition of and restrictions on the celebration of this day must be ended.

Long live May Day
Long live workers’ international solidarity

1st May 2010

– Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company
– Union of Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Company
– Free Union of Workers in Iran
– Committee for the Re-opening of Metal and Mechanical Workers’ Union
– Committee for the Re-opening of Painting Workers’ Union
– Association of Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers
– Follow-up Committee for Setting Up Free Workers’ Organisations
– Co-ordinating Committee to Help Set Up Workers’ Organisations
– Association to Defend Sacked and Unemployed Workers of Saghez
– Women’s Council

[Translated by the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran. workersiniran@gmail.com www.kargaran.org]