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Arrests and Harassments of Workers Following May Day Demonstrations in Iran


May 3, 2007- Numerous reports suggest that scores of workers in Tehran and Sanandaj (the capital of KurdistanProvince) have been detained in connection with the May Day demonstrations on May 1, 2007. Almost all May Day rallies and parades were attacked by the security forces. Many of those arrested have since been released on bail.

'070501_tehran011' von mazdak
translation of the banner:
"We do not want nuclear energy. we neither want a sallary of 183000 tuman (corresponding to 100 euros). We work to live, we do not live to work!"

The arrest warrants for the leaders of the National Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers, Sheys Amani, Behzad Sohrabi and Khaled Savari have been issued. It is reported that Mr. Amani, the President of the board of directors of the newly formed National Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers, has been arrested on May 2, 2007. And just a few hours ago, Mr. Khaled Savari, the deputy director of the unemployed workers' union, was arrested in Sananadaj. Another board member of this union, Mr. Sadigh Karimi, along with abut 9 other members of the union, has been in custody since May first; when his sister appeared at the police station 12 in Sanandaj to enquire about his situation she was severely beaten by an officer. Behzad Sohrabi, a well-known labour activist in Iran, is also the spokesperson for a newly formed committee in Iran in defence of Mahmoud Salehi, called Mahmoud Salehi Must be Freed. This committee has been formed by over 60 workers and labour activists in Iran, and includes Salehi’s partner, Mrs. Najibeh Salehzadeh.

Other news: As was reported on May 1st, Mansour Osanloo was attacked and beaten by security forces and his shoulder got injured. Plain Clothe security agents tried to arrest Osanloo but Osanloo and his colleagues and people witnessing it resisted and managed to free Osanloo. After security forces' unsuccessful attempt to kidnap Osanloo (as he has called it in an interview yesterday because they had no arrest warrant), they arrested Mr. Yaghoob Salimi, a member of the board of directors of the Vahed Syndicate, who had helped and protected Osanloo when he was attacked, and transferred him to a police station in Tehran. Following that incident, Osanloo, along with 30 other members of the Syndicate, staged a sit-in in the Tehran Province Justice Department demanding Salimi's immediate release as well as safety protection for activists of the union as they are constantly under attack by security forces and plain clothe agents. Mr. Salimi was released subsequently. The same night authorities cancelled the Vahed Syndicate’s May Day celebration. Osanloo’s speech in a university in Tehran, which was initiated by student activists, had also been cancelled by authorities.

Another member of the syndicate, Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, had a court hearing on April 29, 2007 at the division 6 of Tehran Revolutionary Court (comment kandolo: revolutionary=Anti-revolutionary). Parviz Khorshid, his lawyer, has told ILNA news agency that that Mr. Gholamhosseini has been accused of “the propaganda against the establishment”. Mr. Khorshid has defended his client as being involved in legitimate union activities as the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company is not an illegal organization. Gholamhosseini is also waiting for the court’s verdict soon. Mr. Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, a union activist, a member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) and one of the 50 suspended employees of the company, who had previously arrested on December 3, 2006 and was released on bail on December 9, 2006. Mr. Gholamreza Gholamhosseini was in custody for about 6 days at the Tehran’s Police Station No. 2.

For more information:
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran