Free Imprisoned Union Leaders in Iran

April 28, 2020

As International Workers’ Day approaches, the VDLC expresses its solidarity with the workers of the world, including those fighting for labour and human rights in Iran. The following statement of solidarity was sent to the Free Them Now campaign. 

The VDLC sends greetings of solidarity to the Free Them Now campaign this International Workers’ Day (May Day).

This year’s May Day is unlike any other in recent memory. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot come together in our usual protest march and rally and hear from speakers about workers struggles here and around the world.

Yet, we know that the worker’s struggle does not rest. Unfortunately, neither do those who seek to repress worker organizing in many countries around the globe, including in Iran.

We read your recent statement regarding Jafar Azim Zadeh, Parvin Mohammadi, and the plight of political prisoners threatened with the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, with alarm.

We understand that Jafar Azim Zadeh is facing a possible extension of his six-year prison term for labour activism and Parvin Mohammadi is facing the confiscation of her house because she made it available as bail for Mr. Zadeh. We also understand that in addition, Nahid Khodajoo and Shapour Ehsani Rad are also facing six-year prison terms. All of the above are members of the Executive Board of the Free Workers’ Union.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and human rights organizations worldwide, have called for the release of prisoners due to the threat of outbreaks of COVID-19 amongst prisoners and guards.

We join Free Them Now in calling for the immediate release of political prisoners and labour activists in Iran. If the regime fails to act it may result in the willful loss of many lives, for which is must be held to account.

Solidarity with the workers of Iran and with the workers of the world! Free them now!