CODIR calls for urgent solidarity with political prisoners, women activists, human rights defenders, and trade unionists in Iran

Trade union activist, Reyhane Ansarinejad, summoned to the Evin Security Prosecutor’s Office

Ms. Reyhane Ansarinejad, an independent labour activist, has been summoned to the 2nd Investigation Branch of the General and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of the 33rd District of Tehran – Evin Prison “in order to [present her] last defence”. According to the notice sent to Reyhane Ansarinejad, she has seven days from February 15 to appear before this branch [of the Revolutionary Court].

Ms. Ansarinejad was arrested at two o’clock in the morning on 12 May 2022 by intelligence ministry agents at her home acting without any legal permit or warrant. Intelligence agents searched and ransacked her address until 4am, and confiscated her mobile phone, laptop, electronic devices, and several books. After spending nearly three months in the cells of Ward 209 of Evin Prison, including a spell in solitary confinement, Ms. Ansarinejad was released on Saturday 4 August 4 on an [extortionate] bail of one and a half billion tomans [approximately 35,000 US dollars].

The union [SWTSBC] condemns the re-summoning [by prosecutors] of Reyhane Ansarinejad and demands the dismissal of the baseless accusations against her as well as other labour activists and teachers.

The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC)

18 February 2023

Two detained Baluch protesters are sentenced to death

News sources in Sistan and Baluchestan [a province in south-eastern Iran] report that the death sentence has been issued for two Baluch protesters, Mansour Hout and Nezam-ul-din Hout, who were arrested during protests in [the city of] Chabahar [in October 2022].

Meanwhile, it has been reported that a young man, Mukhtar Fathi, was shot dead at point-blank range in the city of Saqqez [in Iran’s Kordestan province] after reports he had been involved in writing [anti-regime] graffiti.

The “Hal Vash” news portal [in Sistan and Baluchestan province] published a report on Saturday 18 February that “Mansour Hout” and “Nezam-ul-din Hout”, two Baluch protesters who were arrested during the protests in Chabahar, have been sentenced to death on charges of “warfare and corruption in the world”. According to the report, it is stated that Mansour Hout, born in 1995, and Nezam-ul-din Hout, born in 2002, were arrested by the IRGC’s Intelligence Department on 8 October 2022 [in the midst of the nationwide “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests].

“Mansour and Nezam-ul-din Hout have been sentenced to death by the criminal branch of Musa Nouri Zahedan Court, without having the right to choose a lawyer, and both of them have protested the verdict – and the result of the protest has not yet been communicated to them yet. They are being kept in Ward 9 of Zahedan Central Prison,” Continued the report. According to human rights sources, the two protesters sentenced to death were severely tortured during their detention and forced confessions were obtained from them.

In a [separate] report, Halash also revealed the [alarmingly] widespread dimensions of sexual violence against detained Baluch women. On Thursday 9 February, the website published a report detailing the ordeal of rape victims in several Zahedan detention centres. In this interview, one of the Baluch women confirmed that she was “sexually assaulted” by the interrogators of [state security forces] while being questioned in the intelligence [agency] detention centre of Zahedan. According to the statements of the rape victims, IRGC intelligence interrogators insisted that the victims confess to having had sexual relations with “prominent figures” and admit that they had been in contact with the “Baluchestan Armed Group [Jaish ul-Adl and Ansar Al-Furqan] and the People’s Mojahedin and Monarchists”. In the 5 months that have passed since the beginning of the nationwide protests in Iran, many reports of assault, harassment, and sexual violence perpetrated by the state security forces on detained citizens have been published. These recent reports follow on from an earlier CNN exposé in autumn 2022 on incidents of sexual assault committed against several young women detained in the course of the nationwide protests, including severe sexual violence.

According to human rights media reports, on the evening of Saturday 18 February 18, a citizen in Saqqez [Kordestan province], named as Mukhtar Fathi, was shot dead by the repressive Islamic Republic forces at close range.

The human rights website Hengaw stated in a report that, “Mukhtar Fathi was shot by the [state] forces while he was sitting in a car with two other friends near his parents’ house, on suspicion that Mukhtar Fathi[he] had been involved in writing [anti-government] slogans [graffiti].”

Mr. Fathi, who was married with a pregnant wife, was identified at Shafa Hospital. According to the report, his family was told by the authorities that they had “made a mistake” [in identifying Mr. Fathi as being responsible for the slogans] but that the family should not talk to the media and proceed swiftly with Mr. Fathi’s burial.

10 women foreign ministers show support to the women of Iran and Afghanistan at the Munich Security Conference

10 women foreign ministers have expressed their support for the [beleaguered] women of Iran and Afghanistan in a statement issued on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference [17- 19 February 2023].

Their statement emphasised that, “only where women are safe will everyone be safe”.

Referring to the Taliban’s heavily restrictive and oppressive measures for women [in Afghanistan], the statement strongly condemned the “Taliban’s attempt to exclude women from all public life.” The statement went on to describe how women in that country are banned from walking in parks, no longer seen on television screens, denied the right to attend schools and universities, and prohibited from working in humanitarian [assistance] fields.

The group of foreign ministers stated that in removing half of the Afghan population from [any effective role in the] society, the Taliban are committing the most serious violation of human rights – and, in doing so, are endangering the future of the entire country.

Regarding Iran, the statement read: “We stand by the brave men and women of Iran who fight for their rights and freedom every day. Their struggle shows that only where women are safe will everyone be safe. Not only in Iran and Afghanistan, but all over the world.”

The statement was signed by the foreign ministers of Slovenia, Germany, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Andorra, Albania, Mongolia and Libya.

A group of teachers, retirees, and labour activists meet with the family of Reza Shahabi

A group of labour activists in Iran visited the family of imprisoned trade union activist, Reza Shahabi, on Wednesday 15 February. In this meeting, Ms. Robabe Rezaei, the wife of Mr. Shahabi, updated those in attendance on the latest status of her husband’s case, as well as his health and medical situation.

The meeting went on to discuss the situation of several other imprisoned trade union activists in Iran, including: Davoud Razavi and Hassan Saeedi of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC); Ja’far Ebrahimi and Rasoul Bodaghi of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association (ITTA); and Keivan Mohtadi, the official writer and translator of the ITTA. Those in attendance spoke of their hopes in light of the [political prisoner] releases [that have taken place in recent days] and called for the releases to be extended to the aforementioned activists.

The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC) demands the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, workers, teachers, students, women’s activists, and campaigners from those movements opposed to ethnic/national, gender, religious discrimination and oppression… As well as all of those arrested during the recent protests of the nationwide [“Woman, Life, Freedom”] movement. Life is [means] freedom in the country!

The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company

15 February 2023

A woman holds a sign that reads Women, Life, Freedom at a protest march.Office

Central Executive Council


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