Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The status of labor activists in Iran continues to remain tenuous.

Seddigh Amjadi, one of the workers detained at last year’s May Day ceremonies in the city of Sanandaj, has been fined and and on February 16 whipped, according to a report by the National Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers in Iran. Two days later two other workers, Fars Goilian and Habibollah Kalkani, received 10 lashes and also paid financial penalties. Nine others face the same fate for the same reason.

The eleven workers were accused by the government of disturbing public order and participating in an illegal gathering by both civil and revolutionary courts of Sanandaj.

This is the first time that labor activists have been whipped following a court order, although some women’s right activists have received such sentences before.

On March 6, trade unions around the world are holding an international day of action in solidarity with the workers of Iran. Specifically the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the International Trade Inion Confederation (ITUC) are organizing a worldwide day of action to demand that the release of Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi from the detention in Iran. Osaanloo and Salehi, who remain in prison despite continuing health problems, are guilty of nothing more than exercising their rights to form trade unions, as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that, "everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests".

The ITF and ITUC are also demanding that fundamental workers' rights be respected in Iran, in compliance with ILO conventions.

The following is from Iran Labour Watch.

A kurdish labour activist was whipped for celebrating the May Day

Sedigh Amjadi, a worker from Sanandaj in Kurdistan province was subject to 10 lashes on February 16, 2008 for participating in the May Day celeberations two years ago. He was also find an amount of 200,000 tomans ($2000). Mr. Amjadi along with 12 other workers were arrested and imprisoned during the International Labour Day. Two of them received 30 months in jail and the rest of them were sentenced to 91 days in prison and 10 lashes each. However, an appeals court recently approved the sentence of lashes and changed the prison terms to 200,000 tomans for each of them.
This is the first time a worker receives lashes for celebrating the May Day.

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