Saturday, December 02, 2006

Help Stop the Iranian Govt. from Jailing Four CourageousActivists

The Iranian Regime wants to jail Mahmoud Salehi for four years and has handed out sentences of two years to Jalal Hosseini, Borhan Divargar and Mohsen Hakimi. The deplorable conditions in Iran’s jails make such sentences a threat to the lives of these men. They are currently appealing the decision to deprive them of their liberty.

They were charged, under Iranian security laws, after they were involved in efforts to organize a May Day celebration in 2004 that was never allowed to take place. The location of the event, in the town of Saqez, was taken over by security forces and those who attempted to attend it
were attacked and arrested.

The repressive Iranian Regime wants to silence four men whose only ‘crime’ is to organize workers into a movement that can challenge exploitation and fight for a better life. The celebration of International Workers Day is no crime and only a brutal and morally bankrupt state power would act as if it was.

When, after June 15, 2000, three members of OCAP were facing jail time over bogus allegations of ‘participating in a riot’, one of these workers, Mohsen Hakimi, signed an online petition calling for the charges to be dropped against our members. That is an additional reason why OCAP issues this call in defence of the four. The main reason, however, is that the right to organize for workers’ rights in Iran is a precious one that needs defending. Their struggle is our struggle and it’s a duty to support them.

We are not crafting an appeal to the Iranian Government but simply asking supporters to put their names below this statement. Let the authorities in Iran know that you and others like you are aware of their ugly attempt to stamp out opposition. Let those who have the courage to stand up in Iran and demand rights for workers know that people across the world stand in
solidarity with them.

Whether you share the vision of the four convicted men of a world free of capitalist exploitation or whether you simply respect the right of people to dissent and workers to organize freely, please add you name below as a mark of support and solidarity.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6

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