Statement from prison by Iranian labour activist Shahrokh Zamani to workers’ organisations around the world, in Egypt, Tunisia, Russia, Japan and other Asian countries
Please accept my and other working-class detainees’ sincere greetings from the infernal prisons of the Islamic regime in Iran. I, Shahrokh Zamani, member of the Painters’ Union of Tehran and the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations, along with tens of other worker activists, was sentenced to long-term imprisonment by the anti-worker Islamic regime merely for defending our legal rights such as the right to build organisation or to protest against the rightlessness of the working class in Iran. We are in the most horrible conditions and under physical and mental tortures in the dreadful prisons of the Islamic Republic. In order to protect the interests of a few clergy and military billionaires who are the parasites of the capitalist system in Iran and to preserve the slave-like exploitation of the 50 million members of the working-class family, this regime suppresses their slightest right in the most brutal form. For instance, all workers’ committees for setting up workers’ organisations, and independent unions (such as the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company , Painters Union of Tehran, Union of Haft-Tapeh Sugar Cane Workers, Saqez Bakers’ Union, the Co-ordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, and the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations) are suppressed.
With regard to the growing rightlessness of the workers and working people in Iran, I can point to the level of wages, which is one fourth of the poverty line, privatisation of production, service, education and health care and the turning of these sectors to a money sack for the mafia gangs of the regime, complete abolition of job security through the introduction of temporary and blank contracts for the benefit of capitalists and to the loss of workers, complete abolition of laws supporting workers in areas of social security and labour legislation in favour of capitalists, and turning the labour law into an authorisation to lay off workers, lifting customs duties for import of junk goods by the mafia gangs of the regime with oil-dollars, resulting in the annihilation of all production sectors and mass lay-offs, intensification of repression in the workplaces by Basij mercenaries and spies in the factories, offices and the Workers’ House, plundering of production, distribution, and consumer cooperatives by the mafia gangs, and the brutal suppression of strikes and any form of protest, particularly in the oil industry, machinery manufacture and Iran Khodrow auto factory, which shows the fear of the regime for workers.
The Islamic regime of Iran is an agent and collaborator of imperialist multinational corporations in carrying out the plans and policies of the IMF and the World Bank to increase the pressure on workers. To stand up to this growing organised suppression by the world capitalist class, the working class in Iran, as a battalion in the army of workers of the world, should know that it has common problems and causes with the working class in the other parts of the world, and that consequently, it should arm itself against the attacks of its class enemy through the building of an international front based on the fundamental political-economic demands of the working class.
Worker sisters and brothers!To appease the world capitalist class, the Islamic regime, although a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), neither attaches the least importance to the Conventions adopted by this organisation, nor even to its own laws such as the Labour Law and Article 26 of the Constitution. It nips any workers’ organisation and demand in the bud; it sentences arrested worker activists to long-term imprisonment in kangaroo courts of injustice without any respect to their basic rights, such as having a defence counsel or the opportunity to defend themselves, in the absence of the slightest independence of the judge, on orders from the inhumane infernal Ministry of Intelligence. I have been sentenced to 11 years, Rasoul Bodaghi to 6 years, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh to 5 years, Reza Shahabi to 6 years, Mohammad Jarahi to 5 years, and Pedram Nasrollahi to 3 years in prison. Worker activists are frequently subjected to intensive police oppression through persecution, expulsion from the job, and long-term imprisonment so that the working class in Iran stays leaderless and without organisation, and under the threat of unemployment and hunger produces more and more wealth for the capitalist class in Iran and the world.
We, jailed workers in Iran, call on all international workers’ organisations and workers’ organisations in various countries, especially in the Middle East and Asia, to array themselves against anti-worker regimes, particularly the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in every possible way increase the international pressure on this regime and strengthen the ranks of workers in Iran by showing their massive solidarity and support.
Workers have no other way but to unite and organise!
Workers of the world, unite!
Gowhardasht Prison, Iran
7 January 2013
Translated by: Naser Shishehgar , Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
هم طبقه ای ها!