Over March 13-20, solidarity committees of Iranians abroad organised a week of solidarity with workers' rights activists persecuted by the Iranian government. The week of activity occurred in a number of countries, including Australia, France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Canada. Below is an abridged statement explaining the reasons for the week.
On February 18, in the justice department in Sanandaj city (Kurdistan province), Shiva Kheirabadi and Susan Razani, two young women labour activists, suffered lashes as they were flogged as punishment by the regime.
They courageously endured the pain of this medieval torture so they could be the voice of the struggle of working people seeking to defend their rights in Iran.
Such shameful acts, at a time of the 30th anniversary of February 1979 mass revolution in Iran that overthrew the US-backed Shah dictatorship, and on the eve of International Women's Day on March 8, only further strengthens our united front and commitment to overthrow this criminal regime.
On the same day, Abdolah Khani and Seyed Ghaleb Hosseini, who were arrested during a May Day rally in Sanandaj, were sentenced to flogging and jail. Ali Akbar Pirhadi, a member of the board of directors of the bus workers' union, was arrested in Tehran.
On February 22, Abdolrahim Beshagh, a member of the board of directors of the union at the Haft Tape Sugar Cane Company was summoned to the court, detained and sent to the jail. Five more members of the union's board of directors are being put on trial.
On February 7, Iranian secret service agents in Marivan city kidnapped Salaam Ghaderi and Khaled Asadi, members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organisations from their homes and imprisoned them.
The offence of those persecuted is nothing more than pursuing a decent, humane life, and fighting against poverty, unemployment and exploitation.