Urgent Action: Free Iranian labour activists!

Submitted by cathy n on 16 August, 2012 - 3:39

Alireza Asgari and Jalil Mohammadi, both labour activists and members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organisations, were arrested after security forces raided the annual general membership of the Coordinating Committee on 15 June 2012.

In total about 60 labour activists were brutally beaten by the security forces and transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.

The majority of detainees, after going through serious interrogations, beatings and insults, were released, some on bail; however, Alireza Asgari and Jalil Mohammadi have been held unjustifiably since their arrest.

In addition to the above workers, well-known and veteran labour activists such as Mahmoud Salehi, Khaled Hosseini, Ghaleb Hosseini, Mohammad Abdipour and Jalal Hosseini were among the approximately sixty people who were arrested and severely beaten. Many of the arrestees sustained serious injuries. Mahmoud Salehi suffered a broken pelvis from the beatings and Khaled Hosseini's hearing has been severely damaged.

There are serious concerns about safety and well being of Alireza Asgari and Jalil Mohammadi. The Coordinating Committee reports that these two labour activists have gone through severe beatings and psychological pressures. Alireza Asgari is reportedly suffering from severe heart palpitations, heart pain, numbness and weakness in left hand and severe lethargy, which are all the physical damages caused during his interrogation.

Jalil Mohammadi also is suffering from a deteriorating physical condition due to injuries suffered during his interrogation.

Alireza and Jalil were put on trial on 4 August 2012, at branch 4 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Karaj and charged with "acting against national security through formation of an illegal group, the Coordinating Committee. Ms. Reyhane Ansari who was released on bail after the raid was also put on trial the same day and faced similar charges. All three of them rejected these charges. None of them were amongst founders of the Coordinating Committee, they are only members.

The court also made an allegation that the Coordinating Committee is affiliated to one of the political parties, which was met with reactions from these labour activists; all of them stressed the independence of the Coordinating Committee.

On Tuesday 14 August, branch 4 of the Islamic court at Karaj city sentenced Alireza Asgari to one year imprisonment. Also Rayhana Ansary was sentenced to one year and Jalil Mohamadi to 3 years suspended sentence (with the obligation to be present at the security authorities every month).

Another trade unionist Reza Shahabi has been forced to go back to jail after surgery despite his doctor's' recommendation for absolute rest and the fact that doctors had said he should not stay in jail.

The International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran is calling on all labour and progressive organiations and concerned individuals to strongly condemn the unjust arrests and mistreatment of these labour activists, and to denounce persecution and arrests of labour activists in Iran and the recent raid on workers' meeting in Karaj. Demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of Alireza Asgari, Jalil Mohammadi and all of imprisoned labour activists in Iran.

Please send your protests letters to:

info@leader.ir, info@judiciary.ir, dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir; iran@un.int; ijpr@iranjudiciary.org, info@dadiran.ir, office@justice.ir, support@irimlsa.ir; info@humanrights-iran.ir; avaei@Dadgostary-tehran.ir; bia.judi@yahoo.com; info@mlsa.ir;

CC: info@workers-iran.org

Sample protest letter here: www.workers-iran.org

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