On Thursday morning, May 1, workers of the urban bus system who had assembled in Tehran’s Azadi Square on the occasion of the workers’ day were attacked by regime’s suppressive forces and 23 of the workers were transferred to Evin Prison in a cage-type vehicle of the security forces after they had been battered and insulted. Ebrahim Madadi, Saeidi, Vahidei and Nematei are amongst those arrested.
Moreover, the clerical regime stationed a large number of suppressive forces in front of the Ministry of Labour to thwart gathering of workers. The security forces, plainclothes agents, and Basij hirelings were controlling Azadi Avenue and its vicinity and even the alleys using armored vehicles and motorcycle guards. Despite these oppressive measures, around 1000 workers reached the Ministry of Labour, but they were prevented from assembling. Additionally, a number of the workers there were arrested by the suppressive forces.
Prior, at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 1, Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi, two members of the board of directors of the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers who had called for a rally in front of the Ministry of Labor, were apprehended in a raid on their homes by the intelligence agents.
Concurrently, the intelligence agents assaulted the home of Ms. Parvin Mohammadi, a labor activist, breaking the door to the house, but she was not at home at the time. She was arrested a few hours later in front of the Ministry of Labour. Jafar Azimzadeh, Jamil Mohammadi and Parvin Mohammadi are among the coordinators of a protest petition by 40,000 workers asking for raise in their wages. Rouhani’s government even prevented a workers’ day ceremony to be held by a mullah-fabricated organ called Khaneh Kargar (Worker’s House) and instead attempted to bring the workers to an assembly where Rouhani would appear. However, many workers refused to participate in this assembly and instead, by holding independent assemblies, expressed their wrath and abhorrence for the totality of this corrupt and criminal dictatorship.
Concurrent with the workers’ day, the shopkeepers of Lalezar Bazaar closed their shops for the second time this week to protest the 8% tax on added value of assets.
In a statement on April 16 that was extensively distributed throughout Iran, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) called on all Iranian laborers and freedom-loving youth to commemorate the workers’ day and to express solidarity with the requests of the suffering workers, declaring that the cracking of the bones of the flimsy mullahs’ regime can be heard. The solution is in the struggle and resistance and a hundred-fold battle against the usurpers of people’s sovereignty, the thieves of the toil of workers and peasants and the plunderers of the national wealth.
Labor Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 1, 2014