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The ITF is backing a campaign by fellow global union federation IUF to clear five union leaders in Iran who were arrested for standing up for workers’ rights. A verdict is due to be delivered next week.
IRAN: Send your protest to support the Haft Tapeh workers.
In June last year, five thousand workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Plantation and Industry Company in the Iranian city of Shush formed an independent trade union following a 46-day strike. The Haft Tapeh union is now a member of the IUF - and the government is seeking to crush the workers' organization through potentially lengthy prison sentences for 5 elected leaders, charged with acting against "national security" in connection with last year's strike and the formation of the union.
Your support is needed, now - click here to learn more and to send a message to the government of Iran:
or go straight to the message page and send your protest.
Please also see ITF News Online, 12 February 2009, ITF condemns continuing crackdown on Iran’s independent workers’ movement
TRANSNET in Germany sends its protest letter to the Iranian Embassy in Berlin and the German Minister of Foreign Affairs.
JR-Rengo in Japan sends its protest letter to President Ahmadinejad.
JRU in Japan sends its protest letter to President Ahmadinejad.
Vahed Syndicate holds its regular Executive Board meeting successfully.
LabourStart advertises the ITF online campaign.
AIRF in India sends its protest letter to President Ahmadinejad.
The Victorian Branch of the RTBU in Australia sends its protest to President Ahmadinejad.
FNV Bondgenoten in the Netherlands releases its press statement on the situation in Iran >>
UGT in Spain sends its protest letter to the Iranian authorities.
Ebrahim Madadi is summoned to the Revolutionary Court where his three and a half year sentence, which had been effectively suspended, is reinstated. He is now in Evin Prison, Section 209.
The ITF releases its Action Alert and appeals to all those who have been campaigning to promote workers' rights in Iran to support Ebrahim Madadi by sending a protest to the Iranian government. Take Action: Send a Protest Letter >>
The Austrian union VIDA sends its protest letter to President Ahmadinejad.
According to reports Ebrahim Madadi is taken into police custody from the North Tehran Branch of the Employment Office by plain-clothed security personnel who possessed a court order. Madadi is believed to be in a police branch tonight and is due to appear before the judge tomorrow morning (28 December). Ebrahim Madadi is the Vice-President of the ITF-affiliated Tehran Bus Workers' Union (Vahed Syndicate). Meanwhile, two Executive Board members of the union have also been verbally summoned by the secret police.
Prior to this incident, trade unions condemned the arrest of Mohsen Hakimi, a member of the 'Iranian Writers' Association' and the 'Coordinating Committee to Form Workers' Organisations' who was detained by the secret police for unknown charges on 22 December. He is now being held in Section 209 in Evin Prison. At the same time, an auto worker, Bijan Amiri, at Pars Khodro factory was also arrested for unknown charges.
The ITF immediately releases its "Protest Statement on arrests of trade unionists in Iran" demanding the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release the three unionists as well as the bus union leader, Mansour Osanloo and education worker, Farzad Kamangar without delay.
Read the ITF Protest Statement >>
The British TUC also sends its protest letter to the Iranian Mission in the UK >>
La Fraternidad in Argentina sends its protest to President Ahmadinejad.
FNV Bondgenoten launches an e-card campaign.
The British TUC sends a protest letter to the Iranian Ambassador to the UK concerning the recent arrests >>
Plain-clothed security forces arrest Mohsen Hakimi, a member of the 'Iranian Writers' Association' and the 'Coordinating Committee to Form Workers' Organization'. At the same time an auto worker, Bijan Amiri, at Pars Khodro factory is also arrested under unkown charges. They are transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison. Hakimi is one of the Saqez seven case in 2004.
Five leaders of the Haft Tapeh Syndicate are reportedly summoned to the Islamic Revolution Court in the city of Dezful.
The Council of the European Union releases the "Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the repeated violations of human rights in Iran."
According to reports, Tayab Moaei, a member of the Free Workers' Union is released on a bail of US$10,000 after 34 days detention.
According to information received by Education International (EI) Farzad Kamangar, an education worker and trade unionist, is taken from his cell in Evin prison in preparation for execution by hanging. Urgent online actions are set-up by Education International and LabourStart.
According to reports received during the day, Kamangar is not executed.
Participants at the ITUC Middle East Co-ordinating Committee Meeting held in Brussels denounce the continuing persecution of the Iranian trade union movement and call for a major international trade union mobilisation in support of the release of the imprisoned trade union leaders and the securing of respect for the right of workers to establish free and independent trade unions.
A delegation of representatives from UK unions, the TUC, ITF and Amnesty International take part in a special meeting on union repression in Iran with the All Party Parliamentary Group >>
Austrian transport union, VIDA, holds a meeting with Amnesty International to demand freedom for Mansour Osanloo upon the 10-year anniversary of the Amnesty working group in the transport unions >>
The ITF and ITUC send a joint protest letter to President Ahmadinejad protesting the sentences issued against the five members of the Vahed Syndicate on 5 October and the continued imprisonment and ill treatment of Mansour Osanloo >>
Mansour Osanloo is handcuffed and his feet are chained for his transportation to a medical check-up. He is reportedly beaten up and all his check-ups are cancelled until further notice.
A Mexican delegation composed of trade unionists and politicians, including the ITF Executive Board member Benito Bahena, visits Tehran at the invitation of the Iranian government. In the official meeting with President Ahmadinejad, the delegation raises concerns over the treatment of members of the Vahed Syndicate and demands the immediate release of Mansour Osanloo.
The Syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugar Plantation in Shoush in Southern Khouzestan province in Iran holds an election for union executive board members. Despite harassment and intimidation by the management, more than 1,000 workers cast their ballots and nine members are elected as new executive board members.
Members of the Vahed Syndicate meet together with other independent union representatives in support of the ITF Road Transport Action Week.
Mansour Osanloo and the ITF-affiliated Vahed Syndicate are awarded with the Silver Rose Award by SOLIDAR in Brussels (see 15 September for more information abour SOLIDAR and the award). Yussuf Mollaie, who is the lawyer for the union, attends the ceremony held at the European Parliament. In his speech, on behalf of the union, Mollair says "the unprecedented growth of the workers' movement and the escalation of struggles over the last three years show that Iranian workers are aware of the solid support of the international community. When we raise our fists, we know that we are not alone. This award will strengthen our determination to continue and to broaden our struggles". Representatives of the ITUC and ITF/ETF attend the event.
The Revolutionary Court of Tehran, Branch 14 issues sentences against five members of the Vahed Syndicate. They are convicted for acting against national security in relation to a strike on 25 December 2005 and for inciting employees of the Sherkat-e Vahed to engage in mass protest, preparing and distributing leaflets inviting the bus drivers to go on strike, leaving their lights on during the day in protest, participating in illegal gatherings and knowing about the illegal activities of Mr. Osanloo. The sentences are from 6 months to 14 months, and all are suspended for 3 years. The five members are: Abbas NajandKodaki (10 months prison term), Ata Babakhani (12 months prison term), Saeed Toraabian (14 months prison term), Yaqub Salimi (6 months prison term), and Ali ZadHossein (10 months prison term).
"Thanks a lot for sharing this information with us. We hope and pray that the Iranian government will one day come to its real senses and accordingly release comrade Osanloo from prison ..." Read more >>
More than 1,700 truck drivers are on strike in southern Iran since 7 September. Trucks, which belong to the government, are parked on the roadsides between the cities of Andimeshk and Ahvaz. The drivers are demanding the elimination of the labour brokers and better road safety.
Gholamreza Gholamhosseini is released on bail from Evin prison after being detained for nearly three months. Bail was set at 100,000,000 Toman (US$100,000). Gholamhosseini will have to attend court again to face whatever charges are made against him. (ITF News Online >>)
SOLIDAR, a European network of labour and social organisations recognised by the ILO, announces that Mansour Osanloo and the Tehran Bus Workers' Union are to receive their Silver Rose Award. The Silver Rose Award recognises individuals and organisations whose struggle contributes greatly to social justice and equality throughout the world. (ITF News Online >>)
Ali Reza Saghafi is released. (ITF Press Release >>)
The ITF condemns the detention in Evin Prison of Iranian journalist Ali Reza Saghafi. According to information received by the ITF, Ali Reza Saghafi presented himself to the Saba Street office of the judicial authorities in Tehran on August 26 at 11:00 after being told to report to the authorities. He then effectively disappeared and his family were left without any information about where he was and what had happened to him until today. (ITF Press Release >>)
Education International (EI) releases its Urgent Action Appeal in its efforts to stop the executiion of teacher unionist Farzad Kamagar. (Education International >>)
LabourStart launches its Act NOW! campaign to protest the intensified repression against labour activists in Iran including whipping sentences and executions. Farzad Kamangar is one of the cases highlighted in this campaign (LabourStart >>)
The Supreme Court of Employment rejects an appeal for return to work by nine bus workers who had still not been reinstated after they were dismissed by the company in 2006. Only two workers - Nemat Amirkhani and Ebrahim Madadi - receive letters stating that the verdict was falsified and the plaintiif should be referred back to the Tehran east employment branch. The nine dismissed bus workers are Saeed Torabian, Vahab Mohammadi, Seyedreza Nematipoor, Ata Babakhani, Soltanali Shekari, Amir Takhiri, Davood Razavi, Aliakbar Pirhadi and Reza Fazeli.
A local protest is held in Kamiram city to demand the release of Farzad Kamangar.
Benito Bahena (ATM, Mexico) and Antonio Fritz, ITF Inter-AMerican Regional Secretary, meet with the Iranian Ambassador in Mexico City to brief the Free Osanloo campaign and demand his immediate release.
ITF affiliates in Turkey organise a rally and a joint press conference in front of the Iranian Embassy in Ankara at 12:00 to demand the release of Mansour Osanloo and to highlight that union rights should be respected in Iran and in Turkey. 100 union activists from BTS, TUMTIS, HAVA-IS and DADDER marched to the Embassy, where a black wreath was laid.
Amnesty International reports that Iranian Kurdish human rights defender Farhad Haji Mirza'i is being held in Tehran's Evin Prison and is believed to have been mentally and physically tortured. Amnesty believes that he may be a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of his peaceful activism in defence of human rights.
On the anniversary of the violent arrest of Mansour Osanloo the ITF, ITUC and Amnesty International release a statement demanding the release of Osanloo and calling for solidarity with all Iranian workers.(ITF Press Release >>)
6 March - Global Action Day in solidarity with workers in Iran
Headlines from Breaking News 1-7
* Action Day in Iran
* Rally in Toronto
* Gatherings in Basra and Palestine
* Embassy visits in Lisbon, Oslo and Seoul
* Solidarity from oil, rail and inland waterway workers
* Unions from Middle East and North Africa join the Action Day
* FNV awards Febe Elisabeth Velasquez Prize to Osanloo
* Nationwide actions in Belgium and Great Britain
* More embassy protests; Amman, Casablanca, Bangkok, Berlin and London
* Picket in Vilnius
* Protest Letter in Romania
* Embassy visit in Moscow
* Meeting with Iranian shipping company in Hamburg
* Information campaign in Denmark
* Demonstrations in Delhi and Brussels
* Global Unions delegation visits Iranian Mission in Geneva
* Rail workers from Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg express their solidarity
* 45,000 leaflets distributed in Japan
* Visit to Embassy in Tokyo
* Rally in Lahore
* Protest letters in Ethiopia
* Protest in Jakarta and Sydney
* Leafleting in Hong Kong
* Solidarity message by MUA crew members
* Protest in Kiev and Wellington
* Australian Foreign Minister statement
The ITF releases the Worldwide Update with action plans from 34 countries for 6 March >>
ITF Inspectors in the port of Antwerp (Belgium) visit an Iranian ship to deliver the ITF message.
The ITF Inspector in the port of Bunbury (Australia) visits an Iranian ship to deliver the ITF message.
The ITF Inspector in the port of Nordenham (Germany) sends the ITF message to an Iranian vessel due to visit the port.24 February
Mansour Osanloo is sent back to Evin Prison despite the doctors' recommendation for adequate treatment at hospital (see also 24 January).
Maritime journal "Tradewinds" reports that Iranian owners are shunning their national flag and placing their ships in the Maltese and Cypriot registers in an effort to secure financing from international banks. It includes Iran's top owners, the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC) and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
The Tehran Bus Workers' Union sends a message of solidarity to the ITF Urban Transport Committee meeting held in the Netherlands. The ITF organises the film show and delegates wear the Free Osanloo badge during the meeting. The meeting resolves to organise a worldwide action day in March to support the workers' movement in Iran.
Judge Mohamedi dismisses the doctors' request to release Mansour Osanloo from jail for 45 days for medical treatment. He says that the family has to pay an impossible amount of 1 billion Toman as bail.
Chiako Gharbehi and Mehrdad Amin Vaziri are detained by the police. They are members of the Committee in Defense of Mahmoud Salehi. Their charge was taking photographs of Mahmoud Salehi at hospital. They are released the following day.
The Austrian transport union, VIDA, sends a letter to the European Parliament to request further promotion of workers' rights in Iran >>
The Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company workers issue a statement on their decision to form an independent organisation after their successful strike action in 2007. The first step is to create a founding committee which will organise a general assembly of workers.
Mahmoud Salehi is taken from the prison's medical clinic to Tohid Hospital's emergency unit.
Iran Labour Rights Watch reports that Alireza Hashemi, General Secretary of the Teachers Organisation in Iran is sentenced to three years in jail >>
New Internationalist magazine - which has campaigned for global justice for 30 years - has awarded a human rights gold medal to the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) and its members, including its imprisoned leader, Mansour Osanloo.
A question is raised in the House of Commons, UK about Mahmoud Salehi's health conditions. www.publications.parliament.uk
The Deputy Chair of the Parliament of Venezuela writes to the Iranian Ambassodor to Venezuela, urging the Iranian government to resolve the cases of Mahmoud Salehi and Mansour Osanloo.
The Mexican public transport union (ATM) leader requests the Iranian Ambassodor to Mexico to meet and discuss the cases of Salehi and Osanloo. He is also the president of Mexico/Iran Friendship Association.
The UK public services union, UNISON is circulating its request for Urgent Action on Iran to all its branches (1,200) with a link to the Amnesty hosted email action.
ITF civil aviation unions express solidarity and support to the Free Osanloo Campaign at a meeting in Cairo.
The ITF releases pictures of Mansour Osanloo taken on 1 January when he made a day visit to the hospital for treatment on his eye.
Mahmoud Salehi is transferred to the Tohid Hospital for medical tests from Sanandaj's Central Prison. He is, however, taken back to jail on the following day.
We have been informed by our affiliate, KPI in Indonesia that President Yudhoyono is to postpone his official visit to Iran until February after the mass protest by ITF unions on 3 January over Iran's violation of trade union and human rights.
The T&G Section of Unite Branch 6/680 in Liverpool shows the "Freedom will come" film and expresses solidarity with the Iranian workers.
The T&G Section of Unite (Passenger Transport Group) shows the ITF promotional film at its national meeting. More film shows will now be organised by the delegates with possible contacts in the UK Muslim community.
The union reports an "unexpected meeting" on its webpage. It says that Yagoub Salimi, a member of the Executive Board was at a clergy group's meeting in the old building of the Islamic Council Parliament where he talked to the President of Iran personally and asked him to solve the problems of dismissed bus workers >>
Human Rights Watch releases its report, "You Can Detain Anyone for Anything: Iran's Broadening Clampdown on Independent Activism", criticising the Iranian government relying on its broadly worded 'security laws' to suppress virtually any public expression of dissent >>
ISNA reports that Ebrahim Madadi is now charged with 'obstruction of public order'. He was summoned to the Revolutionary Court on the previous day. It is believed that this is related to the incident on 3 July 2007 when he was detained for one night by the Bharestan station police for alleged 'public disorder'. He was arrested upon his regular visit to the Western Tehran Labour Department to discuss the dismissal of 40 workers.
500 activists rally in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. Organised by the ITF Indonesian Coordinating Committee prior to the official visit to Iran by President Yudhoyono, the unions demand the Indonesian government to raise the cases of Mahmoud Salehi and Mansour Osanloo with the Iranian authorities.
1 January 2008
Members of the union's Executive Board greet Osanloo at the hospital where he was making a day-visit for treatment on his eye.
A group of doctors is making a recommendation to the court that Osanloo be given proper medical treatment outside of jail for at least three months. They are now waiting for the response from judge Hadad.
27 December 2007
Four labour activists, Ebrahim Gohari, Mohsen Hakimi, Alireza Asghari and Hossein Gholami are released on bail. They were arrested on 14 December at the Chitgar Park in Tehran.
The Australian union, ASU sends its protest letter to the Iranian government >>
Mansour Osanloo is visited by his mother in prison. He complains of a kidney problem.
The ITF Indonesian Coordinating Committee delivers a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Campaigning for the release of Mahmoud Salehi and Mansour Osanloo, they request President Yudhoyono's intervention during his official visit to Iran from 11 January 2008.
The Seafarers and Maritime Workers' Union of Western Russia sends its protest letter to the Iranian government >>
Education International (EI) reports that nine teachers were sentenced to 91 days imprisonment on 14 December by a criminal court in the province of Hamadan. Ali Sadeghi, Yousef Zareie, Majid Fourouzanfar, Jalal Naderi, Yousef Refahiyat, Hadi Gholami, Nader Ghadimi, Ali Najafi, Mahmood Jalilian are charged with "disturbing social order, issuing announcements and holding illegal gatherings".
The ITF and ITUC send a joint letter to the Iranian authorities to demand urgent medical treatment for Mahmoud Salehi.
Many unions around the world respond immediately. They include the Canadian Merchant Service Guild; AKT, Finland; the State Railway Workers' Union of Thailand (SRUT); Teamsters Canada; Trades Union Congress (TUC), UK; the T&G section of Unite Grampian and Northern Isles District Committee, UK; the Seafarers' Union of Croatia; the Indonesian Seafarers' Union (KPI); ACV-CSC Transcom, Belgium; the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions; SYTRACOM, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Amnesty International starts its Urgent Action for Mahmoud Salehi.
[visit amnesty.org.uk external site]
Ebrahim Madadi, the Vice-President of the union is released.
The Painters Union leader, Reza Dehgan, is released from Evin Prison.
Four activists are arrested at the Chitgar Park in Tehran as they participate in a social gathering.
The ITUC General Council Meeting held in Washington DC adopts a resolution to step up the internationally coordinated action with the independent Iranian trade union movement. www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/3GC_E_15_c_-_Resolution_on_Iran.pdf
The ITF Asia/Pacific Railway Section Meeting in Jakarta resolves to support the Free Osanloo Campaign. The delegates from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mongolia and Thailand wear the campaign badge and visits the Iranian Embassy in protest.
Mahmoud Salehi is taken to the Tohid Hospital in Sanandaj for the second time in a week. This time, he was unconscious and his blood pressure is very unstable.
The visiting delegation from the European Parliament meets with trade unionists and the families of the arrested union leaders in Tehran.
The ITF organises a "Free Osanloo" film show in Sydney for union representatives from AMWU, ASU, MUA, RTBU and TWU. The meeting agrees to set-up a solidarity committee in Australia. The film show also takes place simultaneously in Melbourne for the members of the Victoria Trades Council. The meeting adopts a resolution in solidarity with the Iranian workers' movement >>
The ITF "Free Osanloo" film is shown in Hobart, Tasmania at the RTBU national conference. The delegates wear the Free Osanloo badge and adopt a resolution in solidarity with the Tehran Bus Workers' Union.
Charges against Sayed Davood Razavi relating to his arrest on 9 August are dropped by the Court.
One of the dismissed bus workers, Nemat Amir Khani is granted the right to resume his job by the Supreme Court.
Mansour Osanloo complains of a hernia problem.
The ITF "Free Osanloo" film is shown in Tunisia to the railway unions from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
The ITF and ITUC submit additional information to the ILO's Freedom of Association Committee. They also write to the ILO to request that the union and its leaders in prison are properly represented by lawyers.
The union lawyers, Parviz Khorshid and Dr. Yousef Mowlaie, submit their resignations to the Court. They will no longer represent the union.
Hospital Employees' Union, CUPE, Canada sends a protest letter to the Iranian President >>
The Tehran Bus Workers' Union send a message of solidarity to the French transport workers (Farsi >>) (French >>)
Ver.di organises the Free Osanloo film show in Borken to officers responsible for the urban transport sector in the Nordrhein Westfalen region.
The Belgian union, BTB sends a protest letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister in Brussels >> (French >>)
The British union, T&G Section of UNITE sends a protest letter to the Iranian government >>
Reza Dehghan, Union of the Painters (Sandicika Nagash) is arrested. He is summoned by court and then taken to Evin prison.
The ITF Dockers' Section Steering Committee resolves to support the Free Osanloo Campaign.
Mansour Osanloo is moved from Ward 209 to Ward 7 in Evin prison. On the same day, he is taken briefly to Basir Hospital for his eye check-up.
Gorban Alipour, the Haftapeh Sugar Factory spokesperson is released on a US$10,000 bail >> (Iran Labour Rights Watch)
The General Union of Transport Workers of Palestine sends its message of solidarity to the Tehran Bus Workers' Union >>
Early Day Motion in the UK House of Commons condemns attacks on Iranian unionists >>
Haft Tapeh workers go on a shift strike following another arrest of a workers' representative >> (Iran Labour Rights Watch)
Homa News in Iran reports that bus drivers in Busheher, Southern Iran, have not received their wages for the last two months.
The ITF's European arm, the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) lobbies the members of the European Parliament >>
Teamsters Canada demonstrates solidarity at Parliament Hill >>
The ITF condemns the announcement of Mansour Osanloo's sentence >>
A question is raised in the House of Commons, UK about Mansour Osanloo's health conditions >>
The ITF Executive Board meeting held in Tunis adopts an emergency resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi and Mahmoud Salehi >>
An ILO mission, led by Cleo Doumbia-Henry, to investigate the compliance of ILO Conventions 95 and 111, visited Tehran from 26 October. While in Tehran, she raised the issue of Osanloo's continued imprisonment which appeared to be in relation to trade union activities as well as his state of health with the Deputy Minister of Labour, the Deputy Minister of Parliamentary and International Affaris and the Deputy Minister of Justice and requested permission to visit him. While informed that the government had no objection to such a visit, the judge concerned declined to allow a visit, citing Osanloo's health condition as the main reason. The mission was, however, given assurances by the government that he was now receiving proper medical treatment.
Mansour Osanloo is sent back to Evin Prison and enters its medical centre.
The European Parliament resolution on Iran calls on the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council to resume the monitoring of the human rights situation in Iran and re-appoint a Special Rapporteur for this purpose >>
ITF Press Release: Mansour Osanloo receives emergency eye treatment >>
Amnesty International launches an emergency petition to demand medical treatment for Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi >>
UK union, RMT sends a protest letter to the Iranian government >>16 October
Transport International >>
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