Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pre-May Day intimidation of Iranian workers

From Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organizations (Iran).

Mass arrest of members of Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organizations [CCHFWO], creating an atmosphere of terror and intimidation right before May 1st!
April 17th, 2009

On April 17th, 2009 while members of CCHFWO were attending a meeting with the family of Mr. Ghaleb Hosseini,- who has been incarcerated because of his participation in May 1st celebrations of last year-, about 11:00 AM the house was surrounded by security forces, and all members of CCHFWO present in the house were arrested.

CCHFWO members' presence in that residence stems from our class solidarity, as an expression of support for the families of incarcerated workers, - Mr. Ghaleb Hosseini and Mr. Abdollah Khani-, and based on the belief that celebration of May 1st is one of our most basic rights. Supporting our fellow workers has been and will continue to be one of our nominal class tasks.

Around 11o'clock we realized that the house was surrounded, and security forces by the entrance were separating ladies from gentlemen, and saying that all men have been arrested. All the arrestees were transferred to the police station 12 in Vakil Street of Sanandaj; they were all interrogated, and told by non-uniformed security personnel that their gathering was illegal. CCHFWO members protested this categorization and asked: since when visiting friends has become illegal?

In addition all arrestees were photographed and finger printed. By creating an atmosphere of terror and intimidation security personal repeatedly told members that since CCHFWO is illegal, any gathering in relation to it is also a crime, and they all have to give a written statement of non-cooperation with CCHFWO. Otherwise none will be freed and all will have charges brought up against them by the authorities.

CCHFWO members in response stated that they won't sign anything and are proud members, since they are all workers, and as worker activists they consider their duty to defend the interests of our fellow workers. After this exchange and members' adamant defense of their membership, they were all unconditionally released around 5:30PM.

It should be noted that arrestees included a 14 years old youth: Amanj Nikdel, who was unfortunately treated like others and had his picture and fingerprints taken.

We members of Coordinating Committee strongly condemn this brutal treatment, and praise our friends' resistance in defense of their right, including the right to be members of Coordinating Committee, and defending fellow workers. We sincerely support such resolute class support.

Long live class solidarity and unity of workers!

[Original at:]

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