May Day repression in Iran

In my last post I reported that independent Iranian trade unionists were facing harassment and intimidation over their plans to exercise their universal human rights to assembly and expression by demonstrating on the international workers' day, 1st May.

When thousands of workers attempted to join the rally in Laleh Park, Kargar Street, Tehran they found police and security forces had 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. 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.

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 1 May, the majority were released the next day, but 47 remain in prison. Repression in Iran is escalating as the Presidential elections approach.

Owen Tudor

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