24 January 2012
Two worker activists by the names Sharif Saed Panah and Mozaffar Saleh Nia, both members of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, who were arrested earlier this month, have been released on bail. The release follows several weeks of campaigning both inside and outside Iran. The released workers were jubilantly greeted by their family and supporters outside the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj.
However, a number of other trade unionists have been detained, or summoned to the Intelligence Ministry: In Tabriz, Shahrokh Zamani and Mohammad Jarahi were detained while out on bail, while Nima Poor-Yaghoub and Sasan Vahebi-Vash were summoned. Zamani and Jarahi are both members of the Follow-up Committee to Set up Free Labour Organisations. Last August, a court sentenced all four to long prison terms: Zamani to 11 years, Jarahi to five years and six months, Poor-Yaghoub to six years and Vahebi-Vash to six months.
Almost simultaneously in Sanandaj, Sheis Amani, well-known leader of the city’s textile workers and a board member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, was detained when enquiring about the cases of other jailed workers at the Prosecutor’s Office.
Meanwhile, other trade unionists, such as Reza Shahabi and Ebrahim Madadi, leaders of Tehran’s bus workers’ union, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, member of the Follow-up Committee to Set up Free Labour Organisations, Ali Nejati, leader of the sugar cane workers’ union and Rasoul Bodaghi, from the Teachers’ Trade Association, continue to serve long prison terms for their union activity.
We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations to condemn the latest arrests and the continued jailing of trade unionists, and to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained.
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