Saturday, 18 July 2015
16 May 2021

To Congress of Labor Unions in India

2013 July 09

To Congress of Labor Unions in India

Dear Friends and Comrades,

As you are aware, these days, Iranian community and labor activists are grieving the death of the Iranian labor activist Afshin Ossanlu in prison.

Afshin Ossanlu, 42 yrs. old, was the known labor activist, Mansour Ossanlu’s brother.  He was arrested and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in 1388 on charges of involvement in   conspiracy and activities against the national security of the country. Last year, he was moved from Evin prison to Rajai Shahr prison, to complete his imprisonment term which ended up in losing his life, there.

Government authorities announced that hearth attack was the cause of Afshin’s death. This however was unacceptable to his family and friends as Afshin did not have history of any heart related diseases and was in stable health condition during his last meetings with his family.  In this regard, Afshin’s sister, Fereshteh Ossanlu informed the International labor Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the family had appealed to coroner to investigate the cause of Afishn’s death.    She also reported that hospital nurses informed the family that Afshin was brought death to hospital. According to Fereshteh, the family was not given permission to have the funeral and the mourning ceremony in public places and was limited to having a small gathering in deceased house.

During the funeral Fereshteh said: “The hospital nurses told us that Afshin could not have died while being transported to hospital, even, as it appeared that he had passed away much before arriving to the hospital.”

Before his tragic death, much earlier, Afshin Ossanlu had described the brutal torture of the prisoners in a note which was published by the “Campaign for Peace Activists in Exile”. He also wrote:

“The only crime I’ve committed has been insisting on the rights of the city transit workers. These workers are aware of their rights now and arresting them will not result in stopping their demand. Necessities such as establishing an independent workers’ union for claiming the legal rights of the workers which comply with the labor law and ensuring job security, improving the wages and compensations commensurate with the inflation to prevent the employer desired wages and creating permanent contract between the workers and the employers and compelling the government to help with facilitating the payment of social insurance to workers and supervise the transit cooperation which has become totally private and its exclusive use in undeniable. And also monitoring the actions of the police and disciplinary department of transportation with ministry of transportation workers and trade related issues. These issues that are in accordance with the law labor and not only are not against national security, but also ensure the productivity growth and result in development of this profitable national industry.”

A group of prominent activists and political prisoners from Evin prison on 24 June 2013 have written that Afshin Ossanlu death is the latest episode of the tragic story of many other prisoners who similarly lost their lives including: Akbar Mohammadi, Amir Heshmat Saran, Z. Baniyaghoub, Omid Mir Sayafi, Hoda Saber, Qi M button, Sattar Beheshti and many other prisoners.

Presently, Reza Shahabi Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Shahrokh Zamani, Pedram Nasrallah and many other labor activists in Iran are in critical condition in overcrowded prisons in Iran.

Recently, arrest warrants have been issued by government courts for many Kurd activist workers such as Faraj Allahi, Vafa Ghaderi and Ghaleb Hosseini and others who have been accused of attempting actions against the national security only because they have joint the “Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organizations”.

Repression in Iran is not limited to the repression of the labor activists. Arash Sadeghi an imprisoned student has been held in solitary confinement for months and is on hunger strike for nearly a month.

Mohammad Reza Pourshajari, a blog writer is another political prisoner who is convicted for his articles in the weblog of “Report on Iranian soil”.  Despite numerous reports saying he was sick, no attempt has been made for his treatment by Rejaiee Shahr prison authorities.

If the names of lawyers such as Nasrin Sotoudeh, Soltani, Houtan Kian and many more are added to this list, one can imagine a small collection Iranian community in the prison.

The Islamic Republic authorities have added another policy to their repressive measures by imposing a political strategy to cause slow death through severe torture, medical neglect and sever mistreatment of the prisoners by the prison authorities.

To this end, recently, a non-governmental organization, named “American workers against the war” in a letter to Iran’s supreme leader wrote:

We call for an independent international investigation to determine the cause of Afshin Ossanlu’s death and to inspect the condition of the political prisoners in Iran.

We urge you to immediately put an end to executions, torture and ill-treatment of the activists and political prisoners, and unconditionally, release all the political prisoners in Iran.

We call on the Iranian government, to recognize the right of association, of assembly and freedom of association and expression, as reflected in international standards by the International Labor Organization.

In this regard and in an attempt to aide these prisoners, a group of Iranian activists abroad, have come together in an international campaign called: “Let’s saved them!”

This campaign’s attempts to create awareness and organize protests and gatherings in different countries against the brutal treatment of political prisoners in Iran.

Support of political prisoners in Iran has been one of the missions of the campaign “Peace Activists in Exile” which declared its inception in the   beginning of April in 2012 by a group of activists in exile in New Delhi.

Campaign for Peace activists in exile had earlier announced his full support of the global campaign “Let’s save them!”

In this regard, the campaign while condemning the regime’s strategy of gradual death of prisoners in Iran and defending the oppressed workers and civil rights activists in Iran, invites the authorities and decision-makers of the “Congress of Trade Unions in India” to react and take sides against this inhumanity, and to assist this global campaign and help organizing protests by the campaign in Delhi.

We demand a thorough investigation by international agencies investigating to determine the cause of Mr. Afshin Ossanlu’s death and also to inspect other political prisoners’ condition in the Islamic Republic of Iran and for this we require your kind support for straightening this campaign.

Thanking you,

Vandad olad Azimi

Spokesman for the peace activists in exile campaign

«نوشته فوق می تواند نظر نویسنده باشد و الزامن نظر رادیو کوچه نیست»