Motion for trade union branches on Iranian political prisoners

From Solidarity With Iranian Workers

This branch notes:

The extreme repression used by the Iranian regime in the aftermath of the murder of Mahsa Jina Amini by the so-called Morality police in September 2022.

At least 537 people have been killed, over 20,000 arrested, and 7 executed during the women-led mass protests against the compulsory hijab law in Iran. Demonstrators have demanded “Women, Life, Freedom.”

Women are heavily discriminated against in employment, custody rights, education and inheritance. The legal age for marriage, for girls, is 13.

This branch further notes:

That union organisation and the right to strike in Iran are effectively banned. There is no freedom of association or free elections. National minorities (Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis) are heavily repressed.

Currently a trial of eight teacher trade unionists is proceeding in Shiraz. The teachers are accused of campaigning for better pay and conditions.

Inflation in Iran is currently running at over 50%. The real unemployment rate has probably been over 10% for the last ten years. The majority of workers do not have permanent contracts

Despite the repression against the labour movement strikes and workers’ protests continue. Recently a mass strike of contract workers in the petro-chemical industry took place demanding massive pay rises.

This branch demands:

The release of Sepideh Gholian, a 28-year-old labour rights activist who was rearrested after being freed from prison in March 2023. Sepideh had spent four years and two months in jail for backing a sugar cane workers’ union protest. In jail she was tortured.

Immediately on her release from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, Sepideh, without a headscarf and while being filmed, began chanting for the downfall of the regime. She was rearrested and has now been jailed for an extra two years.

There are at least 1,100 political prisoners in Iran, and probably many more. We demand the release of all political prisoners in Iran.

This branch agrees:

To write to the Iranian authorities and demand the release of Sepideh Gholian.

To affiliate to the Solidarity With the Iranian Workers movement (SWIW), founded by Labour MP John McDonnell, and Iranian activists in 2022.

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