To the workers organisations and humanitarian institutions around the world

Government repressions in Iran are continuously increasing. The latest news includes the murder of two border workers, known as kolbars, at the border of Baneh, and the subsequent murder and attack of protesters of this crime.  Furthermore there has been a plight in prison conditions and the pressure on political prisoners and hunger strikes,  an increasingly urgent situation for Reza Shahabi a worker activist in jail, increasing pressure on labour activists and protesting teachers, and finally the brutal verdict of whipping for Shapur Ehsani Rad. These updates show the urgency of the conditions of the workers’ movement and protesters in Iran and needs our immediate attention and action.

Calling all Workers Unions, Human Rights Organizations and the general public!

The killing of unemployed workers has for many years been carried out by law enforcements with the support of security and judicial systems in any part of Iran. As you know, thousands of people, including children and elderly people, have been driven to work on the border between Iran and Iraq in fierce and inhumane environments. These workers are referred to as Kolbers. Not only are they being denied the state support to have job or unemployment insurance, but they are constantly being attacked and shot, their property confiscated, and harassed as illegal workers. The latest incident was the killing of two of the Kolbars called Heydar Faraji and Ghader Bahrami on the border of Baneh on September 4th. People opposed and protested this crime in the cities of Baneh, Marivan and Sanandaj in Kurdistan, but Islamic regime’s response was to shoot people in the city of Baneh, and a number of protesters were injured as a result of plastic bullets, and others were arrested.

On Sunday August 30, 2017, the Islamic Republic’s suppressive groups in the Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, carried a brutal assault on a number of political prisoners by beating and insulting them, and forcibly moving them to Hall 10, a cell deprived of their personal belongings. After this move, prisoners were on a hunger strike which commenced on August 31st. Currently, 4 political prisoners are on a hunger strike in Gohardasht. The prisoners include Saeed Shirzad , Reza Shahabi , Saeed Pour Haidar and Mohammad Nazari, Their protest is against the plight of the prisons and the intensification of the pressures on them.  On September 13, By recall by families of political prisoners in Gohardasht who were in hunger strike called for a demonstration in support of  political prisoners in front of Gohar Prison. In this protest gathering  were arrested  Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and  Valeh Zamani , Payman  Salami and Saleh Asadi 4 worker and civil rights activists.

Reza Shahabi, a member of the board of directors of the Workers’ Union, went back to jail on August 8th, while he had already spent six years in prison, judicial authorities consider his entire medical leave to be an absence from his original sentence, and condemned him to 628 additional days in prison. In retaliation for this issue, Reza Shahabi has gone on a hunger strike since August 8th ,and his physical condition is critical. Reza is in Rajai’s Retirement Hall 10.  Many other political activists are currently in jail under abysmal and inhumane conditions. Esmail Abdi, leader of teachers ‘protests and former secretary general of the Teachers’ Association of Iran has a 6-year sentence, Mohsen Omrani, a teacher from Bushehr, has a one-year sentence, Atena Daemi, a children’s rights, women’s rights and death penalty opposition has a seven year sentence.

Shapur Ehsani Rad, a member Iran’s Freedom of Workers’ Union, was given a brutal sentence of 30 Lashes and a fine of nine million Tomans, on charges of provoking Safa’s rolling pipe workers and disrupting public order on August 20, 2017.

The threat and arrest of protest activists, worker activists and social activists, the securitizing of their struggles and the issuance of long-term sentences of imprisonment, is a permanent part of the Islamic regime of Iran’s policy to calm down the protest atmosphere of the workers against poverty. We are calling for an urgent global response to these crimes.

We demand:

  • the condemnation of the assassination of the murder of two kolbars and the support for peoples’ struggles to protest this crime. Suitable job or unemployment insurance should be provided for these workers to avoid them having to persevere in these dire conditions of work.
  • the condemnation of the onslaught of political prisoners and their systematic torture and incitement to prison. And we strongly support the genuine demands of the political prisoners in Gohardasht.
  • the immediate release of Reza Shahabi and the repeal of his prison reprimand.
  • the immediate release of Esmail Abdi, Mohsen Omrani, Athena Permanent, Behnam Ebrahimzade, Vale Zamani, Payman  Salami , Saleh Asadi, Mahmoud Beheshti  and all political prisoners.
  • the abolition of all prison securitizing sentences for labour activists, teachers and social activists and the ending these repressions.
  • for pressure to be placed upon the Islamic Regime for them to recognize the basic rights of the Iranian workers and people, including the right to organize, the right to strike, and the right to organize rallies.

The Western governments, the ruling parties in these countries and the international media have been silent about the suppression of the Islamic state. Not only have they been inactive but they have practically been onside with the Iranian government and against the Iranian people for the last thirty-nine years. The most recent example of this is the acceptance of the Islamic Regime’s invitation to visit Evin prison from the ambassadors of the western countries. The Islamic government wanted with this trick to say that the inhumane conditions of prisons in Iran and the violent behaviour of the government against the prisoners (which have always been objected by international assemblies, opposition dissidents and defenders of human rights) is incorrect and misrepresented. Unfortunately, a number of ambassadors from the West have allowed for this multi-faceted show by the Iranian Islamic Regime to invalidate clams of injustice within prisons.

Appeal against appeasement of the West and the US and the silence of the ILO organization against these horrors. We ask you to support our urgent demands and, by signing this letter, help us in the campaign for the release of imprisoned workers and social activists and against the suppression of the Islamic State.

Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran (Free Them Now)

September 13,2017,  Shahla Daneshfar,

Contact person in Canda: Masoud  arzhang <>