TUC condemns death sentence on Iranian teacher trade unionist

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Mr Rasoul Movahedian Attar
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince's Gate
London SW7 1PT

Dear Ambassador

Repression of trade unions in Iran - death sentence for teacher trade unionist

The Trades Union Congress, representing British people at work through our 58 trade unions and their 6.5 million members, is deeply concerned about trade union repression in Iran, as my frequent letters to you demonstrate. I hope that you will register with your Government the concerns of British trade unionists about the case of teacher trade unionist Mr Farzad Kamangar, and urge them to re-examine his case and commute his death sentence. I would be grateful for a reply from you about the points made below.

We understand that Mr Kamangar was sentenced to death on 25 February 2008 by the Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of 'endangering national security.' Aged 32, Farzad Kamangar has worked for 12 years as a teacher in Kamyaran. He was member of the Kurdish Teachers Trade Association and was in charge of public relations for the teacher union until it was outlawed. Farzad Kamangar was also active in defending human rights, minority rights and women's rights.

According to his lawyer, the judicial process did not meet the Iranian legal requirements and there is no evidence against him of the charges of 'enmity against God'. Farzad Kamangar has been held incommunicado at a series of locations: in Sanandaj in Kurdistan, in Kermanshah, in the Evin prison and currently in the Rajaishahr prison in Karaj. Reliable information indicate that he has been tortured regularly. Currently, he is detained with dangerous criminals and he fears for his security, as well as for his health given the high prevalence of HIV and hepatitis B in the prison.

The TUC supports the campaigns of the Iranian Teachers' Association and of Amnesty International to re-examine the case of Farzad Kamangar through a fair trial that meets the Iranian and international standards. We also urge the authorities to commute Farzad Kamangar's death sentence immediately.

I am copying this letter to the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and making it public.

Yours sincerely

Brendan Barber

General Secretary

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