The Free Union of Workers in Iran (Ettehadiye Azad e Kargaran e Iran) has reported that two of its Executive Committee members have been arrested.
Jafar Azim Zadeh and Jamil Mohammadi were arrested during a raid on their homes in the capital Tehran at 1am this morning.
The police also raided the home of another leader of the Union, Parvin Mohammadi, breaking the door and forcibly entering the house. However, Ms Mohammadi was away from her home at the time, and was not arrested.
Jafar Azim Zadeh and Jamil Mohammadi are among the coordinators for a national pay rise campaign, which has so far attracted 40,000 signatures.
The arrests and intimidations are the authorities’ usual ploy each year to pre-empt protests and rallies by workers on May Day. This year’s arrests come ahead of a call by the Union for a rally outside the Labour Ministry in Tehran on May Day. The police have refused to authorise the event.
On Tuesday the police summoned five other Executive Committee members of the Free Union of Workers to the Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Sanandaj, questioning them and warning them against participation in May Day rallies. Previously, seven other labour activists, all members of the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Free Labour Organisations, were summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj for questioning.
Earlier this month, anti-riot guards carried out a ferocious attack on political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison in Tehran, in the course of which many prisoners were injured, some seriously, and forcibly moved to a solitary ward of the Prison.
We urge labour organisations and human rights groups around the world to protest against the detention of trade union leaders Jafar Azim Zadeh and Jamil Mohammadi and call for their immediate and unconditional release.