Shapour Ehsani Rad, of the board of directors of the Free Union of Iranian Workers (FUIW) has been arrested on Monday 29th of July at his workplace.
Ehsani Rad who is also one of the founding members of Association of the Retired Workers of Social Security Organization has been working in his retirement as a janitor for a building in Tehran to compensate for the low pension income he receives. He was arrested in the building that he currently works at.
Shapour Ehsani Rad arrest comes at a time that Jafar Azimzadeh, secretary of the board of directors of the FUIW is in custody. The legal prosecution of charges brought against Parvin Mohammadi, the vice-chair of FUIW, and other members of FUIW is ongoing. Among FUIW members, Nahid Khodajoo, Nasrin Javadi, Farhad Sheikhi, Hadi Soleimani and Mehdi Fakhri have ongoing open cases against them in the Iranian judiciary.
FUIW has condemned the arrest of Shapour Ehsani Rad and has asked other worker’s associations and unions to join them to demand the release of all labor prisoners in Iran.
Independent labor associations and unions such as FUIW are not recognized by Iran.
Iranian Labor Law only allows for Islamic Labor Councils (ILCs) as legal legitimate unions. In practice, Iran does not tolerate the existence of trade associations and uses intimidation and security measures to replace them with ILCs.