Saturday, September 26, 2015

On the Death of Labor Activist Shahrokh Zamani

Below is a message from the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran



Statement form the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran
September 23, 2015
. . . All independent labour organizations in Iran have condemned Shahrokh Zamani’s death. There is also a growing international outrage over the killing of Shahrokh Zamani. Protests and commemorative ceremonies continue to be organized around the world. International organizations, amongst them the Building and Wood Workers’ International, are calling for “stronger mobilization against persecution of labour activists in Iran and fully supports the call for an independent international inquiry into this death and the conditions of other jailed labour activists and political prisoners in Iran.”  It is absolutely crucial to continue sending protest letters directly to the embassies of the IRI and the IRI’s leaders in Tehran.

Shahrokh was one of the most courageous and respected imprisoned labour activists in Iran, who was found dead on 13 September 2015 in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison in Karaj, Iran. He was serving an 11-year sentence since June 2011. Shahrokh was a member of the Founding Board of the Syndicate of Paint Workers of Tehran and the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers Organizations.

Protesters have been emphasizing that repression, arrests, torture and murder of workers and political activists continue relentlessly under the Rouhani government, and that the safety and lives of jailed workers and political prisoners are in great danger in the prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a new wave of repression is on the way. 

Some updates only in the past few days: Mahmoud Salehi, who has been in and out of prisons for the past 20 years, has been sentenced to another 9 years of jail just a few days ago. Although currently out of prison on bail, he’s lost both his kidneys during his previous imprisonment and going back to jail means he will undoubtedly die.  Ali Nejati of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate was arrested on September 15th, just two days after Shahrokh’s death. Rasoul Bodaghi, a teacher and education activist, who just finished his six-year term, received another three year jail term while still in prison. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has been sentenced to another nine and half years in addition to already being incarcerated for more than five years since June 2010. The list goes on.


The international support and solidarity is needed as urgently as ever before, especially now that the IRI seems to believe that after the nuclear deal with the Western powers it has the green light to undermine human and workers’ rights even further and deeper. Throughout the years we have strongly opposed economic sanctions against Iran and continue to do so; and we know well that the Iranian workers and independent labour organizations do not look forward to receiving support from any capitalist governments; they however greatly appreciate worker to worker solidarity.  We hope that more labour and progressive organizations get more proactively engaged in support of workers’ struggles in Iran. They could issue statements or protest letters about Shahrokh’s killing and the situation of other jailed workers.  International solidarity and pressures can and has been making a difference in recent years. It’s crucial to emphasize again that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a capitalist regime with aggressive neo-liberal policies, does not recognize freedom of association and the right to organize, assemble and free speech and systematically represses workers’ and other progressive social movements in the country.

International Alliance in support of workers in Iran (IASWI)
September 23, 2015 
For more information go to www.workers-iran.org or contact info@workers-iran.org

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