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Iran: Union Activist Woes to Stand for Worker's Rights

NCRI – A former political prisoner and member of board of Free Workers Union in Iran has stressed on standing for the realization workers’ legitimate demands.

Mr. Jafar Azimzadeh said in an interview on Thursday (26 January 2017) that “for putting an end to categorizing labor protests as a security offence, I together with Esmaeil Abdi went on hunger strike in prison, demanding that security charges be removed from labor cases.”

“They attempt to arrest any worker or any human being, for that matter, who’s seeking his rights in this country, claiming that he’s acting against national security”, he added.

In October 2016, Mr. Jafar Azimzadeh was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment.

The Iranian regime’s judiciary sentenced Azimzadeh to 10 years of imprisonment for establishing labor-related organizations and additional one year of imprisonment on charges of disseminating propaganda against the regime, according to his lawyer.

The former political prisoner said in the interview that “I absolutely reject all of what they’ve charged me with. I’m not going to go to prison. I’ll stay home until they themselves come and take me.”

On the situation of workers in Iran, Jafar Azimzadeh said that “situation of workers is really catastrophic, but I’m not going to point to any figures here. You can find such figures everywhere in official news agencies. Layoffs, factory closures, and non-payment of wages are beyond description.”

Regarding the oppressive measures against the workers, Azimzadeh stated that “no matter where in the country the workers protest, the law enforcement forces will immediately stand against them with batons in hands, filing lawsuits and making arrests. This is the disaster the workers are faced with today.”

In response to the question whether such oppressive measure will be effective, Azimzadeh said that: “I don’t think so. Labor protests have not been stopped even a single moment despite so much oppression. Not only have they not been stopped, but tens of such strikes and labor protests are taking place in the country every day.”

“What I want to say is that such measures (suppression of workers) will fail. That’s absolutely not a proper response. Not only is it not a proper response, but I think it will even intensify labor protests”, said Azimzadeh, concluding his remarks.

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