Iran: Beating and arrest of workers is no way to commemorate May Day
Amnesty International is
concerned at the reported beating today of workers taking part in peaceful May
Day demonstrations in Tehran and Sanandaj as well as the arrest in Sanandaj of
Sedigh Karimi and Khaled Rasouli, members of the Union of Unemployed and
Dismissed Workers (Ettehadiye Kargaran-e Bikar va Ekhraji). According to
information available to Amnesty International, scores of others may have been
detained in the course of the May Day demonstrations.
calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that the right to peaceful assembly
is upheld and to promptly charge those detained with an internationally
recognisable criminal offence or to release them.
Reports indicate that
a small number of peaceful demonstrators separated from the May Day
demonstration permitted by the authorities in Shahid Shiroudi stadium in central
Tehran and began to move towards the 7th of Tir Square. A group of around 600
workers reportedly chanted slogans against the government and parliament, as
clashes between demonstrators and security forces broke out in
Up to 15 Intelligence Ministry
officials reportedly attempted to detain Mansour Ossanlu, head of the Syndicate
of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company at the 7th of Tir metro station, though
he apparently managed to escape. Reports suggest that scores of others have been
detained in connection with the May Day demonstration in Tehran.
Sanandaj, the capital of Kordestan province in north-western Iran, at 10 am,
Intelligence Ministry officials reportedly broke up a gathering of around 400
workers, injuring and arresting an unknown number of
Behzad Sohrabi and Hassan Qaderi, workers rights activists,
were reportedly beaten and injured while Sedigh Karimi, member of the Board of
Directors of the Union of Unemployed and Dismissed Workers, and Khaled Rasouli,
Deputy Director of the same organisation, were detained by Intelligence Ministry
Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party, guarantees the right
to peaceful assembly.
Article 3 of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law
Enforcement Officials states that force may only be used when strictly necessary
and to the extent required for the performance of their duty. The same Code of
Conduct states that the use of force by law enforcement officials is an
exceptional and principles of proportionality are to be respected.
advance of a planned demonstration by teachers, scheduled to take place on 2
May, Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to protect the right of
participants to assemble peacefully and to ensure that the policing of any
demonstration, whether a permit has been granted or not, is in accordance with
international human rights standards.
Since March teachers have held
demonstrations and strikes demanding better pay and conditions in Tehran and
other towns and cities which have led to the arrest of dozens of trade union
activists. Up to nine teachers continue to be held apparently without charge or
trial in connection with these activities.
On 28 April, a speech by
Mansour Ossanlu, to be given to the Islamic Society of Students at the Faculty
of Law of Tehran University was cancelled at the last minute by the university
officials. He had been scheduled to discuss the problems faced by labour
organisations and delivered his talk informally at gates of the university.
Mansour Ossanlu was detained between December 2005 and August 2006, and
was re-arrested in November 2006 and held at Section 209 of Evin Prison until 19
December, when he was released on bail. His lawyer said on 12 December 2006 that
he had been detained because of his trade union activities as well as his
contacts with international organizations such as the International Labour
Organization, UN and international workers’ organisations. Amnesty International
believes that Mansour Ossanlu was a prisoner of conscience.
information, see this
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