A report from Tehran
Every May Day thousands of workers, students and women gather in Tehran and other cities across Iran to protest against capitalism, imperialism, the economic crisis and the authoritarian theocratic regime ruling the country. Since its early years of coming to power the regime has usually deployed what it could to put an end to this tradition and stop May Day to be marked as a celebration of international workers' solidarity. The authorities usually ban demonstrations and rallies organised by non- governmental trade unionists and worker organisations. Participants of May Day events in Iran face arrest, torture and even the threat of execution for exercising a right that is regarded as basic in most other countries of the world. This year wasn't an exception.
May 1, 2009- The May Day rally and celebration in Tehran, which was organized by independent Iranian labour organizations (see the list below) in Laleh Park (central Tehran), on May 1st, 2009 at 5pm, was attacked by security and intelligence forces at around 5:30pm and many have been beaten and arrested. The security forces did not allow more than two thousands people who had come to the park to join the event and arrested around 70 trade union activists and organizers and shut down the event before it actually started. According to various reports, the arrested labour activists include: Ms. Maryam Mohseni, and Messrs Behrouz Khabaz, Jafar Azimzadeh,fayeq kayxosravi, Mansour Hayatqeybi, Maryam mohseni, Behzad Khabbaz, Gholamreza Khani, Fatemeh Shahnazari, Saeed Youzi, Mehdi Farahani shandiz, Laleh Mohammadi, Habib Sadeqi and Shahpour Ehsani-rad....
The security forces brutally attacked the participants at the Tehran May Day event, including women and children, by using baton charges and tear gas etc., and forced hundreds of people out of the park. At the time of preparing this report, (8pmTehran time, Friday), the park is surrounded by hundreds of security forces and those arrested have been transferred to police stations in Tehran.
May Day rally in City of Sanandaj (a Kurdish city in North- Western Iran) was also attacked by security forces and plain clothes officers and many were beaten and arrested. The police and security forces arrested five trade union activists taking part in May Day demonstrations on May 1 in Sanandaj. Ten labour activists were arrested in the West of Iran in Sanandaj. They include Sediq Karimi, Sharif Saedpanah, Majid Hamidi, Xalid Hosayni and Jyan Sobhani and were arrested for celebrating Mayday. In Tehran's Laleh Park 70 comrades have been arrested and 30 more were arrested in Tabriz.
Trade unions had called for demonstrations in Tehran, Sanandaj, Kermanshah and several other cities in Iran to protest lack of government action to address economic problems.
You can help by sending messages demanding his release and the release of all political prisoners to the Iranian consulate whose details are below:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince's Gate
London SW7 1PT
The May Day Organizing Committee
- The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
- The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company
- The Free Union of Workers in Iran
- The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Building 's Painters and Decoration's Workers
- The Center for Workers' Rights in Iran
- The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists
- The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organizations
- The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers' Organizations
- The Women's Council
- A Group of Worker Activist