At least Fourteen Labor Activists were summoned as May Day is Approaching

Since last week and as Labor Day is approaching, at least 14 labor activists have been summoned by judicial authorities in the provinces of Khuzestan and Kurdistan.

The Syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory on April 24th, 2018, reported the summons of eight syndicate’s members to the prosecutor’s office in Shush city. Abdulrahim Bashagh, Ismail Bakhshi, Keramat Pam, Jalil Ahmadi, Sayed Hassan Fazeli, Hossein Hamdani, Adel Samaeen and Rostam Abdullahzadeh, have been accused of disrupting public order by participating in the gathering, according to a complaint by the head of the factory board.

The Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Syndicate’s Telegram Channel reported that six of these workers were released on guarantee, until the issuance of a court order. Also for Adel Samaeen and Rostam Abdullahzadeh, no prosecution order was issued.

The Problems and troubles for Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory in Shush city of Khuzestan province with about 5,000 workers, after being privatized in 1395, and during the period of mass privatization in Iran, have increased and has caused a rise in workers protests. The leaders and members of the Haft Tapeh Workers ‘Syndicate, an independent and non-governmental organization, have been summoned, arrested and imprisoned many times in the past years for pursuing workers’ rights.

The Coordinating Committee to help Labors’ organizations, also reported the summons of five labor activists in the city of Sanandaj as International Labor Day is approaching. Sharif Saeedpnah, Habibullah Karimi, Ghaleb Hosseini, Khaled Hosseini and Mozaffar Salehania were separately summoned to Sanandaj Revolutionary Court Branch 1 and their trial will be held on April 28th.

The charges for these activists include attempt to organize workers and participate in labor unions, as well as the celebration last year Nowruz (New Year).

A labor activist who asked for anonymity told the Campaign that summoning labor activists close to the International Labor Day was aimed at threatening and scaring them from the rally. The labor activist told the campaign that it has been over 13 months since the number of Sanandaj activists were charged, and now the judiciary authorities deliberately chose the days close to the May Day and the International Labor Day for their trial.

“This is the same every year, and before May 1st, the labor activists who have previous case will be summoned and others that have no previous case will receive a call and warning. This is the case for this year too, for example, the charges against Mr. Hosseini (Khalid and Ghalib) is for last year Nowruz, and it has been thirteen months, but now all five individuals must appear in court on April 28th, that is 3 days before Labor Day.”

This labor activist told the campaign that, in light of the past years judiciary system actions, workers should expect more summons and arrests in the event of workers planning for the International Labor Day.

May 11th, is selected as the International Labor Day and is a holiday day in most countries and many workers rallies and events. Despite the freedom of assembly in the Islamic Republic of Iran constitution, the independent organizations and labor activists are not allowed to hold labor ceremonies and if they hold a rally, they will be prosecuted with charges such as propaganda against the state and acting against national security.

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