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Worker activists have recently come under intensified pressure from the regime, and several additional worker activists have been arrested and imprisoned. These arrests serve as indicators of the regime’s fear of workers entering the scene. They serve both to confront activists’ efforts to organize workers and to intimidate the whole society. But the head of the regime should know that today, every factory is a stronghold for strike and struggle, and in each factory, tens of worker activists rise to unite and organize their fellow workers. We assure the heads of the regime that arrests, harassment, and persecution of worker activists will not obstruct the process of unifying and organizing workers.
Saeed Torabian, an official of Vahed Syndicate, was arrested on June 9. On June 12, Reza Shahabi, a member of the board of directors of the Vahed Syndicate, was arrested. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a pipe worker at Shourabad pipe manufacturing in Shahr-e Rey, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organizations, and a children’s rights activist, was also arrested on June 12 and subjected to intense beating; it is believed that two of his ribs are broken. In the past few days, security forces have unsuccessfully sought Habib Rezapour, an active member of Vahed Syndicate, at his home. Alireza Akhawan, a co-worker of the Foundation of Defenders of Workers Rights, was arrested on June 3rd. Pezhman Rahimi, an active worker from the Khuzestan region, was arrested on April 17, charged with disturbing the peace, and sentenced by the General Court of Ahvaz to a year’s imprisonment and 40 lashes. Rahimi had previously been accused of agitating Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane workers and the Pipe Manufacturing Workers of Ahvaz and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
Information agents and Pasdars from Kamyaran and the villages of Gashki and Gazerkhani arrested Kaveh Golmhammadi, a worker activist and member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organizations, along with his 18 year old brother Kianoush Gholmohammadi, on Thursday June 3rd. Both are students. From 9am to 6pm , they were detained in the police station in Ghazarkhani, where they were subjected to pressure and harassment. The regime’s thugs have threatened Kaveh Golmohammadi, demanding that he stop his activities; they have also tried to access information from his mobile phone.
In addition to these cases, six leaders of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers, Ali Nejati, Fereidoon Nikofar, Ghorban Alipour, Mohammad Heidari and Reza Rakhshan were fired from their jobs for trying to organize workers. Each has been arrested before and spent time in prison. Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, from Vahed Syndicate’s leadership, have been imprisoned for an extended period of time. Osanloo in particular has been continuously harassed, pressured, and conspired against by the regime.
A number of teachers also have been imprisoned, among them, Abdol Reza Ghanbari( who has been sentenced to death) Seyed Hashem Khastar, Rasoul Bodaghi,, Abdollah Momeni, Mahmood Bheshti Langerudi, Ali Akbar Baghani, Mohammad Davari, Ali Reza Hashemi, Hosein Bastani -Nezhad, and Gorban Ahmadi.
This provides only the broad outlines of the Islamic Republic’s oppression against workers, teachers, workers leaders, and activists, and against the arisen masses. But each incident first and foremost is an indicator of the fact that there is an ongoing vast mobilization of workers and teachers towards organizing. The Islamic Republic’s fear is grounded in their knowledge that once workers and teachers have been mobilized, no degree of suppression, arrests or lay-offs can stop peoples’ revolution.
The party calls upon all workers and workers’ organizations, all teachers and students, university students of the whole country, organizations advocating women’s rights, and revolutionary youth to intensify their struggle, confront these arrests, and demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all workers, teachers and political prisoners, including the 22nd Khordad (June 12) arrestees.
All case files should be discarded, workers and teachers who have been laid off should be reinstated, and compensation of lost wages should be issued for those who spent time in prison or were laid off. Protests against these arrests by workers’ organizations inside Iran, as well as by international organizations, have begun and are now in need of becoming more widespread and developing into larger coordinated actions. The party calls upon all international organizations, institutions, and concerned humanitarian individuals to join this struggle.
The struggle to free worker activists, teacher activists, and all political prisoners is an important pillar to overthrow the Islamic Republic. We should everywhere, in all gatherings, resolutions, and petitions, loudly declare these demands.
Worker-communist Party of Iran
June 14, 2010