07 May 2015 – The general secretaries of the ITF and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have jointly written to Ayatollah Khamenei to protest against the ongoing harassment of labour activists in Iran.
The recent arrests and incarceration of Davood Razavi and Ebrahim Madadi, together with Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Ismaili of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, are just the latest in Iran’s continuing victimisation of union activists.
In their letter, Steve Cotton and Sharan Burrow said: “We find it inconceivable that these men are once again the target of persecution for the exercise of their legal and rightful trade union activities. In the case of Ebrahim Madadi this latest detention is yet another move in a long and inglorious campaign of persecution that looks increasingly like a determined and malicious attempt to make him suffer.
“We therefore ask you to investigate the circumstances of these latest arrests and intervene to reverse them.”
The ITF and ITUC spearheaded a global campaign for justice and applied pressure on Iran through the ILO. This helped win the release of Madadi, a board member of the ITF-affiliated Tehran bus drivers’ union, the Vahed Syndicate, in April 2012. Madadi had spent over three years in jail on false charges of endangering national security.
The federations have also campaigned for the release of the Vahed Syndicate’s treasurer, Reza Shahabi, who was arrested, beaten and imprisoned in June 2010, apparently because of his union work. Shahabi remains imprisoned and reportedly still suffers physically as a result of the beating.
The ITF and ITUC are launching a LabourStart appeal to protest against the harassment of these activists.