IRAN : Plus de 500 employés de la compagnie de bus de Téhéran Fear of torture or ill-treatment/incommunicado detention/possible prisoners of conscience

MDE 13/025/2006

Further Information on UA 26/06 (MDE 13/008/2006, 02 February 2006)

Fear of torture or ill-treatment/incommunicado detention/possible prisoners of conscience

IRAN : Ebrahim Madadi (m), Deputy Head of the Union of Workers of the United Bus Company of Tehran
Naser Gholami (m), Union secretary - released
Mansour Heyat Gheibi (m), member of the union’s Executive Committee
Seyed Davoud Razavi (m)- released
Sa’id Torabian (m)- released
Ali Zade Hossein (m)- released
Abdolreza Tarazi (m)- released
Yaghub Salimi (m), member of the union’s Executive Committee
Hossein Shahsavari (m)- released
Ata Babakhani (m)- released
Yousef Moradi (m)- released
At least 500 other United Bus Company of Tehran workers

New names : Ebrahim Norouzi Gohari (m), member of the union’s Executive Committee
Gholamreza Mirza’I, union Public Relations Officer
Afshin Biharami (m), member of the Metalworkers’ Union
Sattar Amini (m), autoworker

16 March 2006

Most of the hundreds of employees of the state-owned United Bus Company of Tehran (Sherkat-e Vahed), who were arrested after a 24 January call for a strike from their trade union, have been released. At least eight men are still in custody at Evin prison, in Tehran. Amnesty International considers them prisoners of conscience, detained solely for their peaceful trade union activities.

The men known to be still in custody are Ebrahim Madadi, Mansour Heyat, Yaghub Salimi and four others now known to have been detained in connection with the strike, Ebrahim Norouzi Gohari, Gholamreza Mirza’I, Afshin Biharami and Sattar Amini. Gholamreza Mirza’i was arrested on 26 January ; he was released soon afterwards, but at some point since then he has been re-arrested. Head of the Union Mansour Ossanlu, whose arrest prompted the strike, is still detained. (see UA 08/06, MDE 13/002/2006, 09 January 2006). None of those in custody is known to have had access to a lawyer of his own choosing. The families of Yaghub Salimi, Ebrahim Norouzi Gohari and Mansour Heyat Gheibi were reportedly allowed to visit them for the first time on 21 February. On 21 February, the Minister of Justice confirmed that six bus company workers were in custody for unspecified "illegal acts", but gave no names.

Many of those released were reportedly required to sign undertakings not to take part in any further strikes or protest actions. They were reportedly told that they would be allowed to return to work, but the United Bus Company of Tehran has not allowed most, if not all, to resume their duties. Some have reportedly held demonstrations in front of the company’s offices, and the Ministry of Labour, demanding that the government allow them to return to work.

On 11 March, the bus company released a list of 46 people who were being dismissed. The list included the five company workers still in custody named in this UA. The company claimed to be acting on the orders of the Intelligence Ministry. Company employees had previously been told that a disciplinary committee had been set up to dismiss those who had taken part in the strike.

Amnesty International fears that those who have either been dismissed from their jobs or not allowed to return to work are being further punished for their peaceful trade union activities and for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association. The Iranian authorities should either ensure that all the workers are reinstated, or that they receive compensation

RECOMMENDED ACTION : Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language :

 calling on the authorities to release the seven men (naming them) immediately and unconditionally, as they are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for their peaceful trade union activities ;

 urging the authorities to allow all of them immediate and regular access to their families, lawyers of their choice and any medical treatment they may need ;

 urging the authorities not to punish bus company workers for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of association ;

 calling on the authorities to ensure that the workers are reinstated or given appropriate compensation ;

 reminding the authorities that as a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, they are obliged to allow the formation of independent trade unions and to ensure the right to strike.

APPEALS TO :

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic :
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ’Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street,
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax : +98 251 7 774 2228 (mark "FAO the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei")
Email : istiftaa@wilayah.org OR : info@leader.ir
Salutation : Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary :
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email : via the Judiciary’s website : www.iranjudiciary.org/feedback_en.html
Fax : +98 21 8 879 6671 / +98 21 6 640 4018 / +98 21 6 640 4019
Salutation : Your Excellency

Minister of the Interior :
Hojatoleslam Mustafa Purmohammadi
Ministry of the Interior,
Dr Fatemi Avenue, Tehran
, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax : +98 21 8 896 203 / +98 21 8 899 547 / +98 21 6 650 203<br
Salutation : Your Excellency

COPIES TO :

President : His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax : + 98 21 6 649 5880
Email : dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir OR (via website) : www.president.ir/email

Ambassade de la République islamique d’Iran :
Avenue de Tervuren 415,
1150 Bruxelles
Fax : 02.762.39.15
Email :iran-embassy@yahoo.com

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 27 April 2006.

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