Iran-HRM – Iranian authorities have threatened a number of labor rights activists to prevent them from holding and participating in International Labor Day gatherings.
The Free Union of Iranian Workers reported on April 29 that the Intelligence Ministry through repeated telephone calls has threatened them some of the union members including Jafar Azimzadeh and Parvin Mohammadi.
Azimzadeh is a leading member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, a group that formed in 2006 without government approval and advocates for better wages for workers.
“In response to threats by Ministry of Intelligence officials, Jafar Azimzadeh insisted on workers’ rights to hold International Labor Day rallies and protested the imprisonment of workers, teachers and retirees saying: How can you imprison workers and teachers only for union activities and their demands and expect them not to protest and gather in response?”
The group said that fearing the International Labor Day gatherings, the state security forces have resorted to threaten the workers.
Iran’s Labor Code does not grant citizens the right to form independent unions, despite Iran’s ratification of the UN’s International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and membership in the International Labor Organization.
Workers are regularly threatened, detained, tortured and even sentenced to flogging, despite their legitimate demands and protests to current conditions which has robbed them of more than 80% of their purchasing power.
In the past months Iranian workers staged numerous gatherings in protest to their unpaid wages, lack of job security, insurance issues, being laid off and overall grave economic conditions that have put them under the line of poverty.
Several labor rights activists are currently in detention who have been sentenced to prison terms for their peaceful activism.