The Swedish Trade Union Platform for Iran has condemned the continued detention of those arrested on May Day 2019 and Teacher’s Day protests in Iran.
On 25 July, in a statement sent to media, the Swedish National Trade Unions that is behind the Swedish Trade Union Platform for Iran has addressed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asking for “unconditional and immediate release of all trade union prisoners.”
They also demand that the Iranian authorities “stop the harassment and torture of trade union activists”.
The letter is about the continued detention and harassment of Iranian workers and more specifically about the detention of worker, teachers, activists and journalist who were arrested on 1 and 2 May 2019 in Iran.
Dozens were arrested in May Day demonstration in Tehran and Karaj this year. In a separate protest gathering of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) on 2nd of May (which is Teacher’s Day in Iran), dozens of teachers were also arrested.
Currently, Mohammad Habibi, Esmail Abdi, Rouhollah Mardani and Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi are among the teachers who are still in prison.
Of those arrested on May Day, four women labor rights activists and journalists still remain in custody. Marzieh Amiri, a journalist with Shargh Daily, and labor activists Neda Naji, Anisha Asadollahi and Atefeh Rangriz are the women prisoners that the statement of The Swedish Trade Union Platform for Iran names.
The Swedish Trade Union Platform expresses concerns about the well being of the above-mentioned women and says: “These women are workers’ rights’ defenders whose only ‘crime’ is attending a peaceful May Day manifestation. Efforts by their families to follow-up with the security and judicial authorities have so far been unsuccessful.”
The Swedish Trade Unions Platform for Iran condemns the crackdown of the 1 May and the Teachers Day protests on 2nd of May as well as the violent arrests of Teheran bus workers members.
The Swedish Trade Unions Platform writes that they intend to bring the cause of the Iranian labor activists and workers to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) to make sure “necessary steps” are taken to guarantee their rights.
As part of international treaties that Iran has agreed to, Iranian workers should be allowed to form independent trade union organizations, however, this is not the reality on the ground. Workers face nonpayment of wages, low wages, non payment of benefits and contractual violations and when they seek to have their rights paid attention to, they do not have unions to support them and often face crackdowns and persecution.