Saturday, May 22, 2010

Canadian Teachers’ Federation: We strongly condemn the execution of the Kurdish teacher trade unionist Farzad Kamangar!

Photo:May 21, 2010 – Rally in front of the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa (Canada) , Mary-Lou Donnelly, CTF President.

Canadian Teachers’ Federation
Fédération canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants
May 12, 2010

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran 13168-43311
Islamic Republic of Iran

  • Re: Execution of Iranian teacher trade unionist Farzad Kamangar

I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation who represents nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada to strongly condemn the execution of the Kurdish teacher trade unionist Farzad Kamangar on May 9, 2010.
Despite the evident lack of independent inquiry into the allegations, the absence of a fair judicial process, the fact that Mr. Kamangar’s appeal was still to be reviewed by the Supreme Court, though Mr. Kamangar’s lawyer had been told that the file had been lost, Mr. Kamangar has still been executed. I denounce this inhumane treatment of Farzad Kamangar, and the fact that neither his family, nor his lawyer, were informed about the execution.
This brutal execution raises anxiety about the fate of other detained teacher unionists,such as Rasoul Bodaghi, Hashem Khastar, Bahman Goudarzzade and Abdolresa Ghanbari. This execution will also intensify the already pervasive climate of fear and persecution surrounding trade union activities in Iran.
The Canadian Teachers’ Federation urges the Iranian authorities to: • Investigate the legal framework of the execution of Farzad Kamangar and clarify why his file was not reviewed by the Supreme Court in accordance with national law;

• Ensure, in law and practice, all guarantees of due process of law established in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the principle of presumption of innocence and elimination of torture and ill-treatment in prison;
• Respect the full exercise of the right to freedom of expression and rights to association and assembly, as recommended by the Committee on Freedom of Association of the International Labour Organisation;
• Announce a moratorium on executions.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
May 12, 2010

I look forward to hearing about your positive intervention on this very serious matter.
Yours sincerely,
CTF President

Cc : Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ottawa (

Education International (

Le 12 mai 2010
Son Excellence monsieur Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Président de la République islamique d'Iran
Avenue Palestine, intersection Azerbaijan
Téhéran 13168-43311
République islamique d'Iran
Courriel :
Objet : Exécution de Farzad Kamangar, enseignant iranien syndicaliste

Monsieur le Président,

Je vous écris au nom de la Fédération canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants, qui représente près de 200 000 enseignantes et enseignants aux paliers élémentaire et secondaire au Canada, afin de condamner fermement l’exécution de Farzad Kamangar, enseignant kurde syndicaliste, le 9 mai 2010.

Malgré l’absence flagrante d’une enquête indépendante sur les allégations portées contre lui, l’absence d’une procédure judiciaire équitable, le fait que l’appel de M. Kamangar devait toujours faire l’objet d’un examen par la Cour suprême, bien que l’avocat de M. Kamangar ait été informé que son dossier avait été perdu, M. Kamangar a quand même été exécuté. Je condamne ce traitement inhumain et le fait que ni la famille ni l’avocat de Farzad Kamangar n’ont été informés de son exécution.

Cette exécution brutale soulève des inquiétudes par rapport au sort des autres enseignants syndicalistes toujours incarcérés, dont Rasoul Bodaghi, Hashem Khastar, Bahman Goudarzzade et Abdolresa Ghanbari. Elle intensifiera également le climat déjà généralisé de peur et de persécution qui entoure les activités syndicales en Iran.

La Fédération canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants presse les autorités iraniennes de prendre les mesures suivantes :

• enquêter sur le cadre juridique de l’exécution de Farzad Kamangar et éclaircir la raison pour laquelle son dossier n’a pas été examiné par la Cour suprême conformément à la législation nationale;

• assurer, en droit et en pratique, toutes les garanties d’une application régulière de la loi établie selon le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques, y compris le principe de la présomption d’innocence et l’élimination de la torture et des mauvais traitements en prison;

• respecter le plein exercice du droit à la liberté d’expression et des droits d’association et de réunion, tel que le recommande le Comité de la liberté syndicale de l’Organisation internationale du Travail;

• annoncer un moratoire sur les exécutions

Président de la République islamique d'Iran
Le 12 mai 2010

Dans l’attente d’une intervention positive de votre part à l’égard de cette question très
grave, je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur le Président, l’expression de ma très haute

La présidente de la FCE,

c. c. : Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, chef suprême de la
République islamique d'Iran(
Ambassade de la République islamique d'Iran, Ottawa(
Internationale de l'Éducation (

Photos: May 21, 2010 – Rally in front of the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa (Canada) to oppose execution of Kurdish teacher and human rights activist Farzad Kamangar
Le 21 mai 2010: ralliement en face de l’ambassade iranienne, à Ottawa (Canada), pour contester l’exécution de Farzad Kamangar, un défendeur des droits de la personne et enseignant kurde.

Mary-Lou Donnelly, President, speaking with Saeed Valadbaygi, Journalist & Political activist living in Canada.
Farid Partovi, International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

General Strike In Kurdistan

Bazaar in Sanandaj shut down

Despite all of the security measures in Kurdistan for today, reports indicate that the bazaar in Sanandaj is completely shut down and the students did not attend their classes. The streets of Sanandaj are full of special guards. The city seems to be shut down.

General Strike , Mahabad/Kurdistan

Bazaar shut down in Mahabad

City of Mahabad- In the province of Mahabad, military presence is high. The city’s bazaar has been closed and the people are on strike. The slogans ‘Death to the Regime’ and ‘Death to the Dictator’ have been written in various places (walls, etc) around the city.

Bukan- In response to the call for a general strike by the Kurdish people to protest the execution of five Kurdish political activists, citizens of Bukan went on a coordinated strike. All shops, bazaars, and public places have been shut down. Security forces are situated in various street corners.

Today the city of Bukan is on a general strike. In most places in Bukan, along with most of Kurdistan from Maku to Ilam, all stores are closed. People are not leaving their houses.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Video Gallery: Recent Executions and Ahmadinejad’s Visit Cause Uproars

Since yesterday’s execution of five political prisoners, Iranians inside and outside the country have re-emerged to show their opposition to the Iranian regime.

Inside the country, students at Shahid Beheshti University, in protest to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the university, erupted in anti-regime chants that called for freedom. Several female students were attacked by Basij forces during the protests. The altercations can be heard and seen in the videos below.

No current reports of protests have emerged from other universities in Iran. There is however video evidence of a higher-than-usual security presence at the University of Tehran.

Demonstrators from around the world showed their solidarity with the Iranian people by arranging last minute protests against the five calculated executions in Evin prison.


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Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Reports from Iran | Protests in Tehran,Tabriz,Kurdistan,Qazvin,Mashhad,Shiraz,Isfahan Heavy Security

Will be continued...

High Volume of Security in Tehran for International Worker’s Day

Received reports indicate that in accordance with International Worker’s Day (that is recognized on May 1st) a high volume of security is apparent in Tehran, especially in the central region.

Military and disciplinary officers are concentrated in Enghelab Square until near Azadi Square. [Government-operated] vans are stationed around Enghelab Square.

The Kaleme website reports that the security agents are concentrated outside the Ministry of Labour and Laborer’s House (on Azadi Street). The area has been reported to look like a military zone.

There are also reports from Fatemeh Square

of security agents based across the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

A number of Iranian employers have threatened their staff with termination from their position if they decide to act in protest for International Worker’s Day.

Workers Gather in Protest after Labour Minister Speech in Mashad

Yesterday in Mashad, on the first national conference for the day of labour mobilization and celebration of worker martyrs, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, analyzed the third verse of Surat Al-Baqarah from the Qur’an and then interpreted the concept of absence of the Imam and faith. Since the conference was supposed to be held on May Day and he did not mention the situation of workers in Iran,

a group of workers gathered after his speech in the Ayeha building to protest the minister’s talk.

One of the workers said, “We expected the minister to say better words on the improvement of workers situation, but he did not even mention workers.”

Another worker said, “When the Health or Education Minister talks, part of the speech focuses on congratulating nurses and teachers, but the Labour Minister spoke and didn’t say a word about workers.”

A worker Mohammad Karimi said, “The minimum we expected from the Labour Minister was that after he analyzed the Qur’an, he would talk about problems pertaining to workers and also provide solutions.”

He added, “Unfortunately, in our country, there is no value for workers. The proof of this is all the letters and correspondence I had with the Ministry of Labour since March 2009 that have gone nowhere.”

Buses Filled with Workers Stopped By Regime Forces, Man Badly Beaten

Despite the strong security atmosphere, a gathering began in front of the Ministry of Labour. Currently a crowd has gathered in Azadi and Enghelab Squares. Some people are holding flowers to commemorate May Day.

Between Enghelab and Azadi Squares, undeclared martial law continues. INA correspondent reports three buses full of workers coming from Varamin was stopped by police.

The forces acknowledged that the workers were on their way to the demonstration, but did not allow them to proceed. One worker was badly beaten and left there in his blood.

May Day Protest Gathering in Shiraz

Workers in Shiraz organized a protest gathering on the occasion of International Worker’s Day (I.e. May Day).

The gathering took place in front of Shiraz’s Azadi Avenue in the province of Fars. Demonstrators held banners that read: “Expelling workers will bring them a black destiny.” Another banner read: “Workers, congratulations on your day of employment, we won’t sit down until we get what is ours.”

One of the workers at the gathering said that in the last few months he has been expelled from the Gooshe Fars industrial complex and has not been paid his wages for seven months. The annonymous worker explained that Gooshte Fars Industrial Complex has been shut down for over two months and close to 1,200 workers are now unemployed.

Workers from the Gooshte Fars factory also protested their situation in March and April 2010.

Several Hundred Protesters Gather in Tabriz for May Day

Several hundred workers in Tabriz gathered in front of the Labour Department to celebrate International Worker’s Day

Based on reports recieved by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI), several hundred workers and citizens gathered in front of the Labour Department on Khomeini Street in Tabriz and protested against massive expulsions, unemployment, and poverty.

The protests began at 11:00am (Tehran time) and hundreds of people continue to protest [as evening approaches]. The gatherings have taken place despite the vast presence of oppressive forces.

Eyewitnesses have reported over 40 cars belonging to regime agents stationed at the scene of protest. Also, a large number of baton-wielding motorcyclists are patrolling the streets. Plainclothes forces from the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards are present in strong numbers as well.

Heavy security presence in Tehran and other major cities

According to eye witness reports, there were heavy security presence in Tehran and some other major cities of the country on International Worker’s Day.

Kaleme website reports on the large security and plain cities militia presence in the central areas of the Tehran and near Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Organization.

Based on this report there have been gatherings and heavy security presence in other major cities of Iran including, Tabriz, Shiraz and Qazvin; in these gatherings workers by holding signs in their hands stressed that layoffs will bring the workers “Black fate” and some other signs read: “Worker, congratulation on your Unemployment Day” and “We will not give up until we gain our rights”.

There have also been some unconfirmed reports of clashes between protesters and security forces.

International Worker’s Day celebration in Saqez, Kurdistan

On may 1, 2010, at approximately 5:30am, a large number of workers moved toward Jaghal Mountain, a leisure hanging place for the citizens of Saqez (a city in the province of Kurdistan).

Around 8:00am, a large number of people also gathered at the mountain to celebrate International Worker’s Day.

First a moment of silence was held for those killed for the freedom of the working class. After, everyone stood up and a poem was read to break the silence.

Activist Mahmood Salehi addressed the crowd for Worker’s Day. An article was read by another activist, followed by a poem titled, “I am a worker.”

A student present at the gathering also gave a speech.

At the end, a nationwide resolution was read and then the people, in an organized manner, returned back to the city.

Coordinating Committee for the Formation of Worker’s Organizations

Sources: HRANA , Kalameh , Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI) , Street Journalist

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