Following the recent arrest of six labour activists in the city of Sanandaj in the west of Iran, another worker by the name of Ghaleb Hosseini (pictured on right), a member of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, was arrested on 19 March. The activists arrested earlier in the month are Vafa Ghaderi, Seyed Khaled Hosseini, Ali Azadi, Behzad Farajollahi, Hamed Mahmoud Nejad and Sharif Saed Panah.
The first five activists are also members of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, and were arrested on 7 March. Sharif Saed Panah is an executive member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers and an organiser of the 30,000-signature pay-rise campaign. He was arrested on 10 March. All these activists are being held purely for their union activities, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Arbitrary arrests and detention, long prison terms following fabricated trials, torture and abuse, denial of medical care, threatening the families of the detainees, imposition of extortionate bails, and so on, are part and parcel of a programme of persistent persecution which the Islamic regime in Iran practises against workers demanding their rights and attempting to organise.
Meanwhile, families of the detained workers have continued their protest gatherings outside the Intelligence Ministry building in the city of Sanandaj.
Only forceful protests in Iran and internationally can put an end to this flagrant denial of worker rights and persecution of labour activists.
Free Them Now! calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all jailed workers and all political prisoners in Iran.