· Stop killings and torture!
· Farzad Kamangar in Imminent danger of execution!
· Free Haft Tapeh labour leaders!
· Free Osanloo and Madadi now!
· The last of May Day 2009 detainees still in jail! Free Mehdi Farahi Shandiz now!
· Free Majid Hamidi now!
Please use any part or the entire Sample Protest Letter: Updated January 21, 2010
I (we) am (are) writing this protest letter in support of workers’ and human rights in Iran.
· Firstly, I (we) strongly protest against the extreme use of violence and force against freedom and justice seeking people of Iran in recent months. All acts of violence by security and other government forces against people must stop immediately. I (we) demand justice for people who have been killed and injured by security forces in recent months.
All attacks on the labour movement in Iran must stop immediately:
· Five members of the board of directors of “Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate” by names of Feridoun Nikoufard, Jalil Ahmadi, Ghorban Alipour, Mohammad Haydari Mehr and Ali Nejati have been sent to jail and are currently incarcerated in Dezfol prison. Feriadon Nikofard, Jalil Ahmadi, Ghorban Alipour and Ali Nejati were charged and condemned to six months imprisonment and six months suspended sentences and Mohammad Heydari Mehr has received four months prison and eight months suspended sentence; they have also been banned from involvement in any labour activities including running for any elected union positions for three years. All this only because of their efforts to form an independent labour organization.
· Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, president and vice president of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, continue to be in jail and have been sentenced to 5 years and 3.5 years jail respectively.
· Mr. Farzad Kamangar, a teacher and human rights activist, has been sentenced to death, and there is a growing fear that he might get executed given the current repressive climate. See this link: http://www.ei-ie.org/en/news/show.php?id=1170&theme=rights&country=iran
· Mr. Reza Rakhshan, a board member of the Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate, was arrested on January 4, 2010 at his work and taken to the custody. He was released on January 20, 2010 after putting a very heavy bail (150 million toman). He will face a number of charges including “propaganda against the system”.
· The last of May Day 2009 detainees still in jail: According to his mother and a number of radio interviews as well as a report by the Laborer’s unit of HRA, Mr. Mehdi Farahi Shandiz, a labour activist imprisoned in Evin prison (Evin House of Detention), has been convicted of offending the supreme leader and sentenced to eight months in prison. Mr. Farahi Shandiz will be tried again for participating in a gathering on International Workers’ Day at the Laleh Park of Tehran on May 1, 2009. This would happen at the end of his sentence which means he may be kept in jail. This labour activist’s sentence will end on January 23rd, 2010 and thereafter Mr. Shandiz will again be tried for his participation in the gathering in Laleh Park. In addition, according to the Human Rights Activists (HRA), Mr. Shandiz is scheduled to be tried for another case on February 3rd by Branch 14 of the Revolutionary Court for gathering signatures in Khavaran Terminal to free Mansour Osanloo.
· Mr. Majid Hamidi, a labour activist and a member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, has been incarcerated since Thursday, January 14, 2010. Mr. Hamidi left his residence in the afternoon of January 14th but did not return home since then. At 11 PM, January 15th, agents of the Intelligence Ministry entered Mr. Hamidi’s home for search and took his notebook computer with them. Mr. Hamidi, who is a well-known labour activist in City of Sanandaj, received seven bullets into his body on October 18th, 2007. Witnesses and Mr. Hamidi himself reported that the assassins fired about 14 shots towards him. After getting the first shot, Mr. Hamidi tried to rescue himself but they followed him and fired more bullets at him but some were missed. They then escaped from the scene with a motorcycle. No one has yet been arrested or identified as the perpetrator of this crime. Mr. Hamidi’s surgery was not completely done because doctors were unable to remove one of the bullets that hit him in his neck, because by removing that bullet there would have been a great risk of damaging his nervous system around his eyes and mouth. He still has this bullet in his body. Mr. Hamidi issued a statement after his treatment in which he condemned the attempted assassination against himself as a cowardly act by those that are extremely scared of the rise of the Iranian labour movement. He vowed to continue his activities as a labour activist for the achievement of the working class demands.
· On December 31, 2009, a number of armed men entered in the residence of Mr. Jamal Karimpour and fired a number of shots at him, as the result of which he got injured in his left arm. After this terrorist act, the assassins witnessed the village’s residents and thus they escaped the scene. Mr. Jamal Karimpour is a member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations.
I (we) condemn these continuous attacks on human and workers’ rights in Iran. I (we) demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all political prisoners and the above incarcerated labour activists. We demand annulment of the death sentence against Farzad Kamangar.
I (we) would also like to let the Iranian government know that we stand in solidarity with people’s struggles in Iran for justice and freedom. I (we) ask the Iranian government to fully respect workers’ and human rights including freedom of speech and expression, and the rights to organize, protest, assemble and strike. We call on the IRI to put an end to persecution of labour activists and social justice organizations and not to impede their activities. No one should be persecuted, jailed and assaulted because of practicing their fundamental human rights. Torture and executions must be stopped immediately.
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