Thursday, November 27, 2008

Iran: Free Farzad Kamangar

Following an appeal from LabourStart and Education International yesterday (26 November) many trade unionists throughout the world sent protest emails to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran protesting against Farzad Kamangar's imminent execution. Those writing to Ayatollah Khamenei included Brendan Barber, the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (in Britain).

According to Education International, the international teachers' federation, he was taken from his cell in Tehran's Evin prison on 26 November in preparation for execution. The guards told him he was about to be executed and made fun of him, calling him a martyr.

Fortunately Farzad Kamangar has not been executed. His lawyer has spoken to him and he is, considering the circumstances, quite well. The rumours and preparations for his execution are despicable stunts that highlight the real danger that this Kurdish teacher still faces. However, even though his arrest, the five minutes' trial and long imprisonment have been based on "absolutely zero evidence" there is nothing to stop the death sentence being carried out at a whim.

His arrest on trumped up charges, subsequent trial and death sentence have not only mobilised exiled labour activists but have also provoked protests in Iranian Kurdistan itself - including a picket by around 300 teachers.

We urge all trade unionists and labour activists to support the LabourStart campaign by filling in the online protest form.

Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
27 November 2008

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