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Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights

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Britain Union of Teachers Demands Abdi's Freedom


News has reached us in recent days of the re-arrest and detention of the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Association, Mr Esmail Abdi as a result of his legitimate trade union activities. I write on behalf of National Union of Teachers to express our grave concern at the treatment of Mr Abdi - his arrest and the nature of the allegations against him. According to reports that we have received, Mr Abdi was taken into custody on 27 June after he had been prevented from traveling to Armenia to obtain a travel visa to participate in Education International's (EI) 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, from 21 - 26 July. We have also learned that after Mr. Abdi's passport had been confiscated at the border, he was instructed to return to Tehran to meet with the prosecutors' office. After having reported to the prosecutors' office he was arrested. ...more

Canadian Teachers' Union Calls for Abdi's Release

I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the voice of nearly 200,000 teachers in Canada and an Affiliate Member of the 30-million member Education International (EI). As one of the host organizations of EI's 7th World Congress, the CTF echoes EI's call to release immediately our colleague Mr. Esmail Abdi, the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA) and to secure his right to travel to Canada to attend the Congress in Ottawa, Canada, July 21-26, 2015. ...more

Global Education Union Calls for Abdi's to be Released

I am writing to you on behalf of Education International (EI), the global federation of education unions and teachers' associations representing more than 32 million educators and education support professionals in 170 countries. We urge you to immediately release Mr Esmail Abdi, the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA). ...more

Iranian teacher union leader jailed

Esmail Abdi, the general secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, was arrested following his attempt to obtain a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada later this month. According to reports, Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA) General Secretary Esmail Abdi was taken into custody on June 27 after he was prevented from traveling to Armenia to obtain a travel visa for Canada. Abdi intended on participating in Education International's (EI) 7th World Congress in Ottawa from 21 to 26 July. The ITTA is an affiliate of EI.

EI General Secretary demands Iranian government to release Abdi

"Preventing Esmail Abdi to leave the country to attend EI's 7th World Congress is a serious violation of human rights standards,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “There is no excuse for placing him under arrest. This is unacceptable. We are contacting the Iranian authorities demanding his immediate release. We are also requesting the heads of ILO and UNESCO to intervene."


Defend the rights of teachers in Iran

The Committee for Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR) has today condemned the detention of Ismail Abdi, General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers' Association (teachers' union). Abdi was detained on 21 June, while attempting to pass through the border crossing into Armenia. Officers at the border prevented him from leaving the country and confiscated his passport. Abdi was travelling through Armenia on his way to visit Canada to participate in the annual Education International Annual Conference. Instead he was asked to report to Evin prison. Mr Abdi has been in trouble with the authorities of the Islamic Republic over the protest by Iranian teachers demanding better salaries, improved conditions of service and job security. Nearly 70 teachers accompanied Mr Abdi when he attended the session to answer questions by the authorities. They were worried that the authorities may attempt to arrest him, fears which turned out to be justified. ...more

Solidarity group calls for support for sacked journalists

Journalists in Iran have been sacked for reporting on labour disputes in the country, according to evidence revealed today by the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR). ILNA (Iran's Labour News Agency) is the only news agency authorised by the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide limited coverage of labour related news and developments. Until recently it had been allowed to provide limited coverage of labour related news and developments. However, on 20th June, the entire ILNA labour affairs group were sacked on the spot by Chief Executive, Massoud Heydari. Preceding the mass sacking the web site of ILNA had stopped covering labour news for 2 days. There has been no official statement by ILNA for this decision. ...more

Iran power struggle could derail nuclear deal

Diplomats issue warning amid concerns over health of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who would need to ratify any deal.

There are mounting fears that a deepening power struggle in Tehran over the succession for the powerful position of Supreme Leader could derail attempts to negotiate a deal over Iran's nuclear programme. Western diplomats involved in the negotiations believe the increasingly frail health of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the regime's current Supreme Leader, has prompted a fierce power struggle between rival contenders as they jostle for the succession. ...more


Iranian prisoner of conscience Atena Farghadani has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for her art and peaceful activism. She now has 20 days to appeal. Atena Farghadani, a 29-year-old painter and activist, was sentenced on 1 June to 12 years and nine months in prison, on charges of "gathering and colluding against national security", "insulting members of parliament through paintings", "spreading propaganda against the system", "insulting the President" and "insulting the Iranian Supreme Leader". The charges stem from her peaceful activities, including her association with families of political prisoners, her anti-government posts on Facebook and her artwork. She held an art exhibition in memory of those killed in the crackdown that followed the contested 2009 presidential election, and drew a cartoon that satirized parliament's efforts to pass a bill that criminalizes voluntary sterilization and restricts access to contraception and family planning services. ...more


Anti-death penalty activist Atena Daemi has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for her peaceful activism. She has been held in Tehran's Evin Prison since October 2014, when she was arrested. She is a prisoner of conscience. Atena Daemi, a 27-year-old anti-death penalty and civil society activist, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on 12 May by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran after a grossly unfair trial. The trial apparently lasted no more than 15 minutes and took place at the same time as the trial of three others. She was convicted of "gathering and colluding against national security", "spreading propaganda against the system", "insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Supreme Leader" and concealing evidence. ...more

Open letter from former trade union leaders and the Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran (UMMI)

What is being done to the [Iran's] labour community these days is very unfortunate. In fighting for their rights, labour activists not only for years have been sentenced to jail but also it is a couple of years now that they are being sentenced to lashing as well. Even recently the employers have dared to file grievances against their workers and workers' representatives who have been fighting for the labour rights and demands, and have taken them to court and fired them. According to a report by ILNA on May 13th 2015, "Three workers of Khuzestan Pipe and Tube Manufacturing plant where summoned to court based on a complaint filed by the employer for charges of disrupting the production. This private sector employer entered the factory in the company of a few plain-clothes officers and forced 80 senior workers out of the plant." ...more

ITF and ITUC protest harassment of labour activists in Iran

The general secretaries of the ITF and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have jointly written to Ayatollah Khamenei to protest against the ongoing harassment of labour activists in Iran. The recent arrests and incarceration of Davood Razavi and Ebrahim Madadi, together with Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Ismaili of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organizations, are just the latest in Iran's continuing victimisation of union activists. In their letter, Steve Cotton and Sharan Burrow said: "We find it inconceivable that these men are once again the target of persecution for the exercise of their legal and rightful trade union activities. In the case of Ebrahim Madadi this latest detention is yet another move in a long and inglorious campaign of persecution that looks increasingly like a determined and malicious attempt to make him suffer. ...more

How a fatal car crash in Iran exposed growing anger towards super-rich
Ordinary Iranians feeling the pinch of sanctions lash out at occupants of luxury cars that have come to symbolise the opulence of Tehran's 'rich kids'.

The death of a glamorous 20-year-old woman in a high-speed car accident in a canary yellow Porsche in Tehran has stirred up anger about the growing wealth gap in Iran. An immediate media buzz led curious social media users to an Instagram page set up by friends of Parivash Akbarzadeh, and this soon became a clearing house for all manner of sentiments regarding Akbarzadeh's death. ...more

Iranian human rights defender Narges Mohammadi was arrested on 5 May. She is on trial for charges stemming from her human rights activities. She is a prisoner of conscience. Human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, was arrested at her home on the morning of 5 May after security forces threatened to break down her front door if she did not open it. She was subsequently taken to Tehran's Evin Prison. Two days before her arrest, she appeared at the first session of her trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on national security-related charges, including "spreading propaganda against the system" and "assembly and collusion against national security." Before her arrest, Narges Mohammadi told Amnesty International that the charges against her stem solely from her peaceful human rights activism. She stated that this included giving media interviews; gathering outside prisons prior to executions to support the families of death row prisoners; her connections with other human rights activists, such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi; and her March 2014 meeting with Catherine Ashton, the then EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Narges Mohammadi's lawyers were not allowed to see her casefile before the start of her trial. ...more

The Call for Action on May Day 2015- In solidarity with the Iranian workers

On the eve of May Day 2015, we, the representatives of trade unions around the world, raise our voice again in solidarity with the struggle of Iranian workers and trade unionists for fundamental rights and better pay and working conditions. In pursuit of our call on 1 August 2013 on the eve of the inauguration of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, we once again call on him to fulfil the promises he made during his 2013 election campaign to act on the legitimate demands of Iranian workers for a decent living wage and the right to form, join and belong to a trade union of their choice.

We remind the Iranian president that two years after his election on a platform of undertakings to respond to the demands of Iranian people, unemployment is still high and increasing, inflation is sky high, prices of basic and essential goods are out of the reach of workers, wages are not paid on time and destitution has reached catastrophic levels. Conventions on health and safety are openly flouted.

Since last July, large groups of workers - including miners, auto workers, teachers, nurses and others, in all provinces - have taken to the streets and demonstrated outside the Iranian Parliament to demand their legitimate rights. These rights are set out in international conventions such as ILO Conventions 87 and 98. It is only by the President and his government responding to these legitimate demands that working people in Iran and their trade union brothers and sisters across the world can be confident that they can rely on his words. ...more

CODIR Bulletin March 2015
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CODIR Bulletin May 2014
CODIR Bulletin March 2014
CODIR Bulletin September 2013
CODIR Bulletin May 2013
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