Iranian police violently suppress peaceful May Day workers' demonstration

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May Day around the world

Iran: trade unionists beaten and arrested

1 May 2009

Attempts by Iranian workers to celebrate May Day through a peaceful demonstration called by independent trade union organisations (see below for list) were violently repressed by the Iranian government, according to eye witness reports. International trade union protests, already made in the week running up to May Day (see, will continue next week.

Following days of intimidation of the organisers, including demands that a rally in Laleh Park, Kargar Street, Tehran be called off, about 2,000 people gathered in the park at 5pm in the afternoon of May Day.

Before the rally started, police and security forces closed the park entrances, and started punching, kicking, verbally abusing and arresting demonstrators. Cameras and mobile phones were smashed to prevent reports of the demonstration and the violence getting out. Using batons, tasers and tear gas, they forced people out of the park, and at 8pm they were still surrounding the park. Security guards from certain companies and factories where independent trade unions have been active were also present, filming and photographing demonstrators - as were security forces.

Eye witness observers report that 'a significant number of workers and other participants were assaulted and subsequently arrested, many with bloodied heads and faces. Following their massive assault on the crowd, the security forces moved on to arrest a large number of people in the streets surrounding Laleh Park.'

The May Day rally in the city of Sanandaj was also attacked by security forces and plain clothes officers and many were beaten and arrested.

Of those arrested on May Day, 30 people were released on 2 May. The forty-seven still in custody are:

1-Jafar Azimzadeh

2- Gholamreza Khani

3- Mansoor Hayatgheibi

4- Fateme Shah nazari

5-Alireza Saghafy

6- Mohsen Saghafy

7- Kaveh Mozaffari

8- Amir Yaghoobali

9- Mohammad Faraji

10- Saleh Kiamari

11- Mohammad Ashrafi

12 -Unese Arjang

13- Mehdi Farahi Shandiz

14 Saeid Uzi

15- Maryam Mohseni

16- Behrooz Khabaz

17- Fatemeh Shah Nazari

19-Jelveh Javaheri

20- Taha Vali

21- Pouria Pushtareh

22- Homa Ajdarnia

23-Hamid Khademi

24- Ainolah Basiri

25- Mahmoud Hosseini

26-Omid Shafie

27- Aisan Zarfam

28- Meysam Jafar Nejad

29- Maeilhe Yazdi

30- Masoud Logman

31- Abdoulhassan Shahari

32-Mohammad Lotfi

33- Gholamhossein Razavi

34- Star Sataripour

35- Afsaneh Azimzadeh

36- Seyed Javad Mosavi

37- Yekzad Zangeneh

38- Amirali Yaghoubi

39- Hamid Ghorbani

40- Serous Rahiad

41- Jamal Sied Ali

42- Saeed Sajodi

43- Ali Moadan

44- Najma Ranjbaran

45- Parvaneh Ghasemian

46- MirBahari

47- Alireza Firozie

The May Day Organizing Committee which organised the event included:
  • The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
  • The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company
  • The Free Union of Workers in Iran
  • The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Building's Painters and Decoration's Workers
  • The Center for Workers' Rights in Iran
  • The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists
  • The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers' Organizations
  • The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers' Organizations
  • The Women's Council
  • A Group of Worker Activists
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