The International Federation of Iranian Refugees calls upon the Greek Ministry of the Interior to immediately release Mohammad Ashrafi and other detained asylum seekers.

Mohammad Ashrafi, a renowned labour activist and a member of the Committee to Establish Free Labour Organizations, has been detained by Greek police for over 3 months, along with a number of other asylum seekers.

The Islamic Republic’s security apparatus and the Information Ministry arrested Mohammad Ashrafi and a number of other labour activists in Laleh Park on May 1st, 2009. He was then sentenced to a year of suspended imprisonment.

On February 9, 2010 the security forces raided his home, arrested and detained him for a while.On June 10, 2010 , the 3 rd branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court summoned Mohammad Ashrafi. They demanded he present himself at this court on Tuesday, June 22.

By then, Mohammad Ashrafi was well aware of the intimidation and bogus charges awaiting him, with which the judiciary apparatus had planned to silence him. In order to avoid the heavy punishments that the judiciary apparatus had planned to use to retaliate against him and other labour activists, he decided to leave the country and find a safe haven to continue his activities. He left Iran, but was arrested by the Greek border police. He has been detained for over 3 month in one of the most notorious and irregular Greek detention centres!

The Greek government is well aware of inhumane practices of the Islamic regime against its opponents. The powerful sit-in of the Iranian asylum seekers in the centre of Athens and their relentless disclosures during the action revealed the despicable covert intelligence relations and diplomacy between the Greek government and the Islamic Republic.

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees supports Mohammad Ashrafi’s fundamental right to security and asylum and demands the immediate release of this labour activist from detention by the Greek police. Asylum seekers are not criminals and should not be detained in detention camps for seeking refuge.

The Federation calls upon all human and refugee rights advocacy organizations to pressure the Greek government for its inhumane practices against asylum seekers and to immediate release Mohammad Ashrafi and other detained asylum seekers from Greek prisons.

International Federation of Iranian Refugees
December 2, 2010

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