Friday, 25 June 2010


The Iranian Government continues to harass, detain without trial and murder Trade Unions who are trying to organise to fight for better working conditions and Human Rights. Justice for Iranian Workers continues to monitor the situation as does the International Transport Workers' Federation, the following gives us an idea of the pressures that Trade Union Activist are under: 

1. Mansour Osanloo - Currently at Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj City near Tehran. He is the President of the Tehran Bus Workers Union.

2. Ebrahim Madadi - Currently at Evin Prison. He is the Vice President of the Tehran Bus Workers Union.

3. Saeed Torabian was arrested by the security force on 9th June and his whereabouts are currently unknown. He is the spokesperson of the Tehran Bus Workers Union.

4. Reza Shahbi was arrested by the security force on 12th June and his whereabouts are also currently unknown. He is the treasurer of the Tehran Bus Workers Union.

5. Pejman Rahimi, a union activist in Khuzestan, southern Iran, was sentenced to one year imprisonment and 40 lashes by the Ahwaz Public Court on 17th April on charges of disrupting public order. The verdict was announced on 31 May. He was previously sentenced to 5 years in prison for supporting the workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Factory and the Ahwaz Tubing Factory.

6. Mehdi Farahi Shandiz was arrested and transferred to the notorious Kahrizak prison upon his visit to the Revolutionary Court to retrieve his personal belongings on 8th June. He is a 50 years old teacher and a worker activist . Last year, his belongings were confiscated after he was detained on the anniversary of International Workers' Day (May Day).

7. Abolfazl Abedini Nasr has been sentenced to 11 years of peremptory confinement on 11th May. He is a journalist and a labour and human right activist. Abolfazl was a key person who assisted the Haft Tapeh union in the last 3 years.

8. Mohammad Olyaiefard, a lawyer for the Haft Tapeh and Tehran Bus Workers' Union, was arrested on 1st May and is currently in detention. He has previously been sentenced to one year in prison in the past.

It's not just ordinary workers who are under pressure from the repressive Iranian Government, the teaching Unions are also under threat, so are Teaching Union members:

9. Abdolreza Ghanbari, a school teacher in Pakdasht Varamin and online professor of Payam e Nour University, was arrested at his home in Pakdasht on 4th January, 2010. He was charged with Moharebeh (enmity towards God) for receiving unsolicited emails from an armed opposition group to which he does not belong. In detention at the notorious Evin Prison, Ghanbari has been interrogated for 25 days in a row under duress. In 2007, Abdolreza was detained for 120 days and sentenced to a six-month suspension from teaching and exiled from Sari to Pakdasht. His recent death sentence has been confirmed by Tehran's Appeal Court, Branch 36.

10. Esmael Abdi, a school teacher member of the Iranian Teachers' Association of Tehran, was arrested on 19th May, 2010. Four officials from the Ministry of Intelligence searched his house and took his computer, notebook and some literature. They cut the wire of his land line phone and told Esmael's partner to keep his detention a secret. He remains in detention in an unknown location. According to his relatives, his arrest is the consequence of an interview he gave to foreign media on National Teachers' Day.

11. Rasoul Bodaghi is another member of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association of Tehran who is in detention. He was transferred from the Evin Prison to Rajaieshahr Prison in Karaj on 10th May, 2010, and was reportedly beaten very severely by two prison officers on 26th May, 2010. This experience has provoked a dramatic deterioration in his health, and there is still no report of when his trial might take place.

12. Hashem Khastar is a retired teacher suffering from kidney disease, who has already served more than a third of his prison sentence, but he is still not allowed to go on leave and visit his family. This action contradicts the Iranian Governments own rules in relation to prisoners in Iran.

It does not stop with the imprisonment and death sentences, the Iranian judiciary / Government enforced the summary execution of the Iranian Teacher Union member, Farzad Kamangar, who was summarily executed on May 9th 2010, without a fair trial and prior to a Supreme Court review of his case. Farzad's execution also took place without his family or lawyer being informed. Farzad's body is yet to be returned to his family and that an independent investigation needs to carried out into the procedural irregularities and allegations of torture that were inflicted upon Farzad during his detention.

Justice for Iranian Workers also has information that suggests that Alireza Hashemi (General Secretary, Iranian Teachers Organization), Ali Akbar Baghbani (General Secretary, Teachers Trade Union) and Mohamoud Beheshti Langarudi (Spokesperson, Teachers Trade Union) may also in detention.

Check out Amnesty International for more information:

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