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Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights

Justice For Iranian Workers
Feministi School
Coup against Dr.Mossadegh
Iran's trade unions publish their International Messenger!
UNION MESSENGER No.1 is published.

In this issue

- Introduction!





Trade Unions in Iran call for international Solidarity! Release Reza Shahabi from prison!

The statement below has been forwarded to the public relation department of the 'Metalworkers and Mechanics Trade Union' by the 'Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company'. As well as circulating this statement, we give our total support to the demands of Reza Shahabi and the 'Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company' in relation to asking him to end his hunger strike.
Metalworkers and Mechanic Trade Union (Syndicate)
Founding Board of the Syndicate of Paint Workers and decorators - Tehran
Syndicate of Paint Workers - Alboorz Province
15th July 2014 ...more

ITF demands Shahabi release

The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) has demanded the release of Reza Shahabi, the imprisoned Iranian trade unionist and prisoner of conscience. Shahabi, who is the treasurer of the ITF member union the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (otherwise known as the Vahed union), was unjustly arrested in 2010 and is now on a hunger strike. In a strongly worded letter sent today to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the ITF's acting general secretary, Steve Cotton, stated: 'The ITF has written to your government on a number of occasions to demand Shahabi's release and to ensure that he is provided with the medical treatment he needs. The Federation also on several occasions reminded you of your country's international legal obligations to comply with international human rights and labour standards, and in particular on the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. ...more

Supporting Prisoners in Iran

Insufficient protections for civil and political rights have resulted in the imprisonment of over 895 "prisoners of conscience" and "political prisoners" in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over half of these Iranians were sentenced for simple and protected acts such as expressing an opinion, associating with an organization that promotes cultural rights, being active on a school campus, showing up to a rally or protest, or believing in an unrecognized religion. My recent report to the UN Human Rights Council reviews the legacy of vague and overly broad laws that lead to the arrest of Iran's journalists, lawyers, students, and hundreds of activists that work to advance the rights of workers, women, and minorities in the country. My report also discusses the abusive practices that result in the torture and denial of fair trail standards that contribute to the unjust convictions of hundreds of human rights defenders. Some political prisoners have also been executed for their alleged crimes, including Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani and Mah Afrid Amir Khosravi, and Ali Chebeishat and Sayed Khaled Mousavi, recently executed on Moharebeh (enmity against God) charges for their involvement in cultural rights and political groups. ...more

Execution of juvenile offenders breaches international law - Pillay

GENEVA (26 June 2014) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed concern Thursday about the large number of executions in Iran since the beginning of this year, calling on the authorities to halt, in particular, the imminent execution of a juvenile offender. "The imminent execution of Razieh Ebrahimi has once again brought into stark focus the unacceptable use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders in Iran," Pillay said. Ebrahimi was convicted of killing her husband when she was 17 years old. She was married to him at the age of 14, gave birth to a child when she was 15, and says she was subjected to domestic violence. "Regardless of the circumstances of the crime, the execution of juvenile offenders is clearly prohibited by international human rights law," Pillay added. "Judgements imposing the death penalty on people under the age of 18 and the implementation of such judgements are manifestly incompatible with Iran's international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child." ...more

Trade unions challenge regimes anti worker policies-Open Letter to Trade Unions and Workers of Iran

The new workers' year started on May 1st of this year while workers were treated in violation of the humanitarian and legal norms and standards. Considering the violation of the Article 41 of Iran's Labour Law pertaining to determination of minimum wage, and then approving a minimum wage by the so-called "workers' representatives" that was 3 times lower than the poverty line and 10% less of the current rate of inflation, which led to the million-strong protest of Iranian workers, a few of Iran's trade unions, i.e. Syndicate of Transit Workers of Tehran Bus Company (Vahed), Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran, Painters and Internal Decoration Workers and the Union of Project Workers, submitted a protest letter to the Minister of Labour to raise their objection against this illegal measure. What happened to workers after submitting this letter was violation of all legal norms. ...more

IFJ Demands that Iranian Authorities Free Imprisoned Journalists

The International Federation of journalists (IFJ) has joined its affiliate, the Association of Iranian journalists (AoIJ), to demand that the government of Iran follows up on its election promises by showing respect for press freedom and releasing all journalists imprisoned in the country. According to the AoIJ, three more Iranian journalists have been imprisoned in the country in recent months - bringing the total number of Iranian journalists in jail to 23. Two newspapers - Bahar and Aseman - have also been closed over the last six months, while the Tehran offices of the AoIJ remain closed despite repeated appeals for the country's President, Hassan Rohani, and his government to show their commitment to media freedom by reopening them. The three journalists who have been arrested are all being held in Evin prison, in northwestern Tehran. Hossein Noraninejad, who had been studying for two years in Australia, returned to Iran in February and had his passport confiscated at the airport. He was then arrested on 21 April. ...more

Further arrests following May Day in Iran condemned

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR) has today condemned the actions of the government in Iran resulting in the arrests of trade unionists in peaceful demonstrations on 2nd May. Maziar Gillaninejad, a leading member of the Metalworkers and Mechanics union was beaten, along with a large number of union members and their families, before being arrested and transferred to an unknown detention centre. These arrests took place at a social gathering in an orchard in the suburbs of Karaj in West Tehran. The event was to privately celebrate May Day, with workers and their families present, and should not have been attacked. ...more

Stop Press

Reports have been received of a number of arrests early this morning relating to attempts to mark International Workers' Day and non-state-sanctioned trade union activity. These arrests follow on from the arrest of a number of trade unionists yesterday (1 May) morning when the regime intelligence agents and paramilitaries moved in on an attempted gathering of workers from the Tehran bus workers' union the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, battering many of those assembled and arresting 23 trade union activists, including Ibrahim Madadi, before they were transferred to the notorious Evin Prison. The intelligence services had summoned a number of workers and activists warning them against staging or participating in any demonstrations coinciding with 1 May. The security services had also been mobilised en-masse in front of the Ministry of Labour to prevent any gatherings, to the point they had 'locked down' Azadi Avenue and the main routes and alleys in the surrounding vicinity. ...more

CODIR calls for the release of detained trade unionists

According to reports published last night, the security forces in Iran arrested a number of trade unionists and workers participating in traditional and peaceful May Day events in Tehran. The actions of the security forces are in clear violation of international law. According to the published list at least 23 trade unionists were arrested on 1st May in Tehran. It is very telling that at the same time as the activists were being attacked, beaten up and detained by security forces, the country's head of "government of prudence and hope" was, in demagogic language, calling for the "establishment of civil society organizations". According to the semi-official Fars news agency, president Rouhani said in his address that "workers should be able to get their messages across to officials by forming their own free associations" and that "the government should not interfere in these unions and associations." ...more

CODIR Bulletin- May 2014

In this issue

- Solidarity with Iranian trade unionists on International Workers Day!

- Trade union leaders call for the release of detained workers

- 12 Political Prisoners Start Hunger Strike!

- Unemployment Rises for Women in Iran

- Forgotten Generation: Child Labour in Iran

- Iranian Arabs demand rights


Defend the rights of political prisoners in Iran

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR) has today stressed the urgent need to protect the lives and well being as well as the rights of political prisoners in Iran. The call follows reports of prison guards having raided section 350 of Evin Prison in Tehran, resulting in prisoners being beaten and injured. It has been reported that at least 32 individuals from section 350 have been subsequently transferred to solitary confinement in section 240 of the prison. Those taken into solitary confinement include lawyer, Abdolfattah Soltani; minority rights activist and member of the Azerbaijani minority in Iran, Sa'id Metinpour; former prosecutor, Mohammad Amin Hadavi; labour rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh; and political activists Behzad Arabgol and Hootan Dolati. All those transferred to solitary confinement were beaten with batons by guards during the transfer. On the morning of 17th April Ministry of Intelligence plain-clothed officials, along with about 100 guards dressed in riot gear, entered the prison to conduct a search. It appears that prisoners have resisted this intrusion, leading to many being injured. At least two prisoners, Esmail Barzegari and Akbar Amini, are reported to have suffered broken ribs. A third is said to have suffered a heart attack and has been transferred to the intensive care unit of a hospital outside of the prison. ...more

Solidarity group calls for abolition of death penalty

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR) has condemned the culture of execution which is prevalent inside Iran today as demonstrated by recent reports in the Western press. Dramatic images reproduced in UK newspapers show the moments before the hanging of a man found guilty of a stabbing. The man is then shown being saved by the victim's mother having a change of heart. The images have highlighted the brutality of the use of capital punishment in Iran. Quite apart from the obvious barbarity of the hanging the Iranian system makes such events a public show, it is claimed, in order to deter further offenders. However, such brutal acts, being given license by the government as public spectacle, are an indication that the medievalism perpetrated by the ruling clergy remains alive in Iranian society. In addition the legal system allows for the parents of victims to be arbiters of life and death, hence the last minute reprieve in this case. However, the system has been known to be to be abused, when the families of victims have accepted money in exchange for acts of 'clemency'. "These are not the marks of a modern civil society," said CODIR Assistant General Secretary, Jamshid Ahmadi today. "If Iran has aspirations to be a fully recognised member of the world community if must not only stop the executions of all political prisoners but abolish the death sentence for all prisoners. In addition, the authorities in Iran often restrict access to legal representation for prisoners. This is a practice which must be stopped and access to legal representation must become the norm in all cases." CODIR has stressed that there are many cases within the Iranian judicial system in which the threat of the death sentence, often based upon dubious evidence, is a possible outcome for prisoners. ...more

Solidarity group calls for release of trade unionist on hunger strike

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights (CODIR) has called upon the labour and trade movement internationally to take urgent action in calling for the release of Shahrokh Zamani, a trade unionist currently on hunger strike in Iran. Zamani was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for his pro trade union activities. Arrested in June 2011, Zamani was convicted of charges including "acting against national security by establishing or membership of groups opposed to the system" and "spreading propaganda against the establishment". These charges are widely used by the Iranian state to intimidate and imprison those engaged in trade union activity. Zamani has been on hunger strike since 8th March 2014. The hunger strike began in the Gohar Dasht prison in solidarity with other political prisoners. Three days into the action the prison management decided to transfer of Zamani to Ghezel Hesar prison, with no explanation or justification. In protest Zamani continued his hunger strike. He has spent eight days in solitary confinement since his transfer to Ghezel Hesar prison. So far he has lost seventeen kilos of his body weight. Zamani is a member of the Syndicate of Paint Workers of Tehran but the regime in Iran does not recognise independent trade unions and many trade unionists have been arrested for attempting to organise such bodies. ...more

CODIR Bulletin May 2014
CODIR Bulletin March 2014
CODIR Bulletin September 2013
CODIR Bulletin May 2013
CODIR Bulletin March/April 2013
Iran Today Sep 2012
Iran Today Sep 2011
Iran Today Vol21 No2
Iran Today Vol21 No1
Iran Today Vol2 No1
Iran Today Vol2 No2

© 2005-2006, Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People's Rights