Monday, March 2, 2009

Leaders of Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate arrested,Labour activists fear more arrests!

Mr. Ali Nedjati, president of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate, and Reza Rakhshan, the Public Relations director of the Syndicate and a board member, were arrested on February 28, 2009. Mr. Rakhshan was summoned to the intelligent office on February 28th office and was immediately arrested upon his arrival there; later his home was raided by security forces and his belongings including some personal items and others that belonged to the Syndicate as well as books and computer were confiscated.

A few hours later, intelligence agents raided Mr. Nedjati’s residence and arrested him. Also, Mr. Rahim Boshagh, a member of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Syndicate, was arrested on February 22, 2009 and he is still incarcerated.

There are fears of more arrests in next few days. These attacks are part of the government crack down on labour activists in Iran. In particular, Haft Tapeh Workers’ syndicate has been very active amongst workers, as the result of which workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company refused to participate in the Islamic labour council’s election in the company. The Islamic Labour Council is a government-sponsored and pro-employer instrument for controlling and repressing independent labour activities in the company. According to the Collaborating Council of Labour Organizations and Activists in Iran, in total only about 30 employees took part in the Islamic labour council’s election on February 22, 2009 despite more than five thousands employees in the company. That was considered a complete defeat of these repressive forces.

In addition five members of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate, including Mr. Nedjati, were put on trial on February 17th and 23rd and were waiting for their verdict. Most arrested and persecuted workers have been charged with "acting against national security", which is an allegation used frequently by the Islamic Republic of Iran against labour and social activists.

LabourStart Act NOW!

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