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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mahmood Salehi, leading labour activist, arrested

Mahmood Salehi, a leading labour activist from the city of Saghez, was re-arrested on Monday April 9 by the Islamic regime’s security forces. Salehi who was at work at the time was taken during his lunch break by armed security forces to the public prosecutor’s office regarding his bail on charges of organizing May Day strikes and demonstrations last year.

Later at the public prosecutor’s office, a revised court verdict was read to him summarily sentencing him to one year imprisonment and 3 years suspended sentence. He was immediately transferred to the city of Sanandaj prison.

Clearly this is an attempt to intimidate and attack the labour movement both in Iran and internationally. Last Year Manhood Salehi was bailed under immense international pressure from trade unions, and labour and progressive organizations internationally. In addition, this is an attempt to undermine the vibrant workers’ movement Iran which is preparing to organize for this year’s international May Day celebrations following a huge teachers’ strike in Iran in the last couple of months over pay and conditions which resulted in the arrest of 45 teachers’ activists in the city of Hamedan on Saturday 7th April 2007.

With nation-wide and daily protests such as the teachers’ strikes challenging the Islamic Republic of Iran, the regime is fearful of a powerful confrontation on May Day and is attempting to undermine the momentum of this movement by threats, intimidations and arrests of activists and labour leaders.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran condemns the arrest of Mahmood Salehi in Saghez and teachers in Hamedan and calls on all trade unions and international rights organizations and concerned individuals to join us in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Mahmood Salehi and 45 arrested teachers in Hamedan and an end to the intimidation of labour activists.

Celebration of May Day, the day of International Labour Solidarity, is a fundamental right for all workers in the world.

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the WPI

Coordinator: Shahla Daneshfar
Public Relations: Bahram Soroush

Note to the Editors:
Mahmood Salehi has been arrested twice since May 2003 for organizing May Day during recent last years. He was freed as a result of huge international campaigns for his release on both occasions. Mahmood Salehi has been recalled to the court over and over and has been under permanent threat and pressure by the Islamic Republic of Iran since his first arrest in May Day of 2003.