March 18, 2008
You might have already been informed that Mahmoud Salehi, one of the well-known worker leaders in Iran, has been in prison since April 9, 2007. He is in prison for organising May Day celebrations in the city of Saqez and defending workers’ rights. Mahmoud Salehi is not in good health and his life is under threat. Salehi’s one-year prison term ends on March 23, 2008. However, yesterday Branch 4 of the Public Prosecutor's office of the city of Sanandaj summoned Mahmoud Salehi. Salehi is accused, this time, of communicating with outside of prison, of publishing messages in support of workers and students. The prosecutor’s office has issued a new temporary arrest for Mahmoud Salehi.
The Islamic Republic’s decision to keep Salehi in prison despite his grave health conditions is a criminal act. To protest this decision, Mahmoud Salehi has gone on total hunger strike (food and drink). Mahmoud Salehi’s life is under even greater danger now that he has made such a decision.
Neither celebrating May Day, nor issuing messages of solidarity with workers’ and students’ struggles is a crime. Mahmoud Salehi should be freed immediately and unconditionally and should be provided with necessary health-care.
To save Mahmoud Salehi’s life, immediate international action is required. This is the only way to put powerful enough pressure on the Islamic Republic regime in order to release Mahmoud Salehi, so that he would not have to continue with hunger strike and risk his life even further.
We request all workers’ organisations to act immediately on an international scale to save the life of Mahmoud Salehi and secure his immediate and unconditional release.
Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator, International Labour Solidarity Committee of WPI
Bahram Soroush, Public relations