To all labour and human rights organisations around the world Jafar Azim Zadeh, one of the leaders of the Iranian workers, is about to be imprisoned

According to the news released by Free Union of Workers of Iran (Ettehadieh Azad e Kargaran e Iran) , Jafar Azimzadeh, a well-known labor leader and the the President of this union, must present himself to the Evin prison authorities by October 26 (4 of Aban) in order to serve his 6-year prison sentence due to his trade union activities.

We condemn this blatant attack of the Islamic regime in Iran on the Free Union and worker activists and demand the immediate revoking of these sentences, and the release of all worker activists currently in prison for defending workers’ rights.

We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world to condemn this latest attack on the Free Union and Jafar Azimzadeh and to demand an immediate end to the persecution of workers and labour activists in Iran.

Jafar’s crime is to defend indisputable and basic rights of workers. He is one of the initiators of a petition for wage increase which has been signed by 40 thousand workers. For this offence, he was arrested on the May Day in 2014 and after 46 days of detention was released on 100 million Tomans (33 thousand US dollars) bail. Later, he was tried on the 10th of March, 2015 and was charged with “assembly and collusion against homeland security and disrupting the public order, propaganda against Islamic Republic of Iran, membership in illegal political parties and organisations, and activity in cyberspace and media and newspapers” and was sentenced to a total of 6 years in prison.

Jafar Azimzadeh’s charges laid by the 15th branch of the “Revolutionary Islamic Courts” are as follows: “formation of the Free Unison of Iranian Workers, formation of the General Union of Laid-off Workers and the Unemployed, formation of the Follow-up Committee for Building Free Worker Organizations, participation in the international workers day gathering in Laleh Park in 2009, lconducting the workers protests in 2005, planning and attempting to form and manage the workers’ gatherings in the time of the new government (Rohani’s government) and threatening to  strike and gather in March of 2014, gathering petition of 40 thousand workers and gatherings in front of the Parliament and the Ministry of Labour, conducting these gatherings, threatening the Ministry of Labour, through a letter to the minister, with gathering in front of the Ministry the May Day of the previous year, laying complaint against Saeed Mortazavy and other authorities because of the theft of 3 thousand billion Tomans (about one billion US dollars) from the social security funds, protesting (anti-labor) changes in labor law, sitting and meeting with other independent worker organizations such as Syndicate of Workers of Vahed Corporation of Tehran, Syndicate of Workers of Neyshkar Haft Tappeh, Coordinating Committee, Falow-up Committee, and interview with Site of Ettehad (internet site for Free Iranian Workers Union), and some overseas media, etc.

It is completely clear from these charges Jafar Azimzadeh has been sentenced because of his righteous and consistent defence of workers. His prison sentence is in fact an attack on all workers and people of Iran.

Jafar Azimzadeh must not be jailed. We  call on all worker organizations around the  world for their prompt and active support for Jafar Azimzadeh and his righteous struggles.

We must not let the Islamic regime to oppress and torture another worker who is fighting for worker’s rights.

Free Them Now! – Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

October 17,2015