June 20th: International day in support of political prisoners in Iran

June 20th is the International Day in Support of Political Prisoners in Iran. Free Them Now! The Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran joins this day of action and calls on all workers’ and human rights organisations and individuals to support this day.

In Iran workers are routinely arrested for going on strike, for building a union or for celebrating May Day. Currently, many worker activists and numerous political prisoners are in jail in Iran.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions, long prison terms, violent interrogations, beatings, even use of lashing to degrade and break down, denial of medical care to sick detainees, constant harassment in the form of court summons, heavy bails and daily threats issued against the workers and their families, and the ultimate weapon of cutting workers off their livelihood by firing them, make up a brutal regime of systematic persecution of labour activists in Iran.

-Jafar Azimzadeh, a well-known labor leader and the head of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, and one of the coordinators of the 40 thousand-signatures-petition the increase in wages, went to Evin prison on November 8, 2015 in order to serve his six-year sentence. Jafar Azimzadeh and Esmail Abdi a well-known teachers activist in a common statement have  protested  against issues such as the security criminalization of trade activities and assembly and strike by workers and teachers. With this demand they went on hunger strike since  April 29, 2016. Esmail Abdi has realised on bail on may14, but Jafar is still on jail and his situation is urgent.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a labour and children’s rights activist, and a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations in Iran. He was arrested on 12 June 2012 in Tehran and sentenced to 5 years in jail. Behnam has served five years of his original sentence. But he has sentenced to another seven years, 10 months and fifteen days imprisonment.

Mohammad Jarahi ,  a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of  Workers’ Organisations in Iran, was arrested in January 2012 and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Following an operation on his thyroid gland last year, Jarahi has been refused medical leave by prison authorities.

Alireza Hashemi, The secretary of the Teachers’ Trade Association was arrested on 19th April 2015

In addition more worker activists and teachers like Esmail Abdi, Mahmoud Salehi, Dvoud Razavi, Mahmoud Beheshti has sentenced to long prison terms.

A regime which jails workers for fighting for their rights should have no place in the International Labour Organisation (ILO).  Islamic Republic does not represent the workers and the people of Iran. Our demand and the demand of people and workers of Iran is to expel Islamic Republic from all international institutions, including ILO.

Our demand is clear: the terror and violence against workers in Iran must stop! Workers in Iran should be able to freely exercise their fundamental right to set up their own organisations, meet, assemble and protest as they wish, take strike action, organise and take part in rallies, etc., without fear of being arrested and thrown in jail. All jailed workers must be immediately and unconditionally freed!

We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world and all individuals and organisations appalled by the horrific human rights abuse in Iran to support and sign up our campaign.

 -We express our solidarity with Jafar Azimzadeh and call for answering his demands. He should be released immediately and unconditional.

– We express our solidarity with all Iranian workers and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all jailed trade unionists and political prisoners in Iran; trials of workers and all political activists must be cancelled and any kind of fabrication of charges against them must be stopped.

– We condemn the Islamic regime of Iran for its persecution of worker activists and political dissidents;

– We support the struggle of the workers and people of Iran for freedom, the right to organise and strike, and for welfare, equality, justice and a life of dignity;

Please join us and support us.


International Workers Solidarity Committee- Iran (Free Them Now)

Coordinator: shahla_daneshfar@yahoo.com