Latest updates on Karaj Detainees and imprisoned labour activists in Iran
As of July 19, 2012 :Background information: On Friday, 15th of June, 2012, at about 12 noon, 57 members of the "Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organizations" were arrested by the agents of the intelligence Ministry after security forces and plain clothes officers raided a house in city of Karaj while the annual membership meeting of the "coordinating committee" was underway. These 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 and insults, were released on June 16th exclusive of Ms. Mitra Homayooni, Ms. Reyhaneh Ansari, and Messrs Alireza Asgari, Saeed Marzaban, Cyrus Fathi, Masoud Salimpour, Maziar Mehrpour, Jalil Mohammadi and Faramarz Fetrat Nejad.
As of July 12th, with the exception of Alireza Asgari and Jalil Mohammadi the other seven detainees were released on heavy bails.
On Monday July 16, 2012, "Jalil Mohammad" and "Ali Reza Asgari," were taken to the Karaj Trial Court- Branch 6 and then were transferred to "the Central Penitentiary of Karaj". They were transferred to the court with handcuffs and shackle. Even though they were in very high spirits, they seemed unhealthy and in bad shape physically, evidently they have been mistreated while they were in detention. Thus far, there is no confirmed information about the reasons that these two labour activists are held in custody.
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.
We continue to witness many labour activists brutally persecuted and unjustly imprisoned in Iran, like Reza Shahabi, the executive board member and treasurer of the Syndicate of the bus workers of the Municipality of Tehran, who after two years of unjustifiable incarceration has been sentenced to 6 year imprisonment; the appeal court has confirmed his sentence as well. Ali Nejati of Sugarcane workers' union, and other well-known labour activists, including Shahrokh Zamani, Mohmmad Jarahi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Ali Akhavan, continue to be imprisoned.
The raid on a workers' annual meeting is absolutely outrageous and definitely inexcusable; it is a gross violation of the most basic rights of workers which is recognized by international conventions and universal human rights.
IASWI has called for and organized a number of immediate urgent actions in different countries in response to the raid on workers' meeting. Demonstrations took place at Iranian embassies and other locations in Canada, France, England, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, etc. Various trade unions and labour and progressive organizations supported and took part in these solidarity actions. The urgent action on Karaj Raid will continue until the release of Alireza Asgari and Jalil Mohammadi.
We call on all workers and labour organizations internationally to intensify pressures on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and demand respect for workers' and human rights in Iran including the right to organize, assemble and freedom of association and expression and to free all jailed labour activists. Please send your protests letters to:
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