According to the Co-ordination Committee for the Creation of Labour Organisations on Wednesday 18 February 2009 Shiva Kheyrabadi and Susan Razani, two female labour activists, were flogged.
The flogging sentences were passed against Ms Kheyrabadi, Ms Razani and two other labour activists in August 2008. Their crime was taking part in a May Day rally in Sanandaj (in Iranian Kurdistan).
On 5 August 2008 the 101st branch of the criminal court in Sanandaj sentenced the four to this brutal, barbaric and medieval form of punishment because they had taken part in the 2007 May Day celebrations in the city. The court sentenced Ms Susan Razani to receive 70 lashes and be jailed for nine months; Ms Shiva Kheyrabadi 15 lashes and four months; Abdollah Khani (Abeh Nejar) 40 lashes and 91 days; and Seyyed Ghaleb Hosseini 50 lashes and six months in prison. The defendants were given 20 days to lodge an appeal with the Kurdistan province court.
The Iranian regime is not carrying out this policy from a position of strength. The whipping of workers is a desperate attempt by the regime to dampen the combativity and high morale of the workers who, despite having no legal trade unions and suffering from the crippling economic situation, continue to fight for their rights.
Last year, weeks before May Day, the authorities began a campaign of intimidation and terror against the new labour movement so that 2008’s rallies and celebrations would not be as big and radical as those in 2007. In February 2008 three labour activists were flogged and a further eight were also sentenced to receive the lash.
The flogging of Ms Kheyrabadi and Ms Razani exposes the Iranian regime and shows the whole world its true colours. Despite the nuclear technology, the satellites and big rhetoric about scientific and medical advances, deep down this regime remains a medieval and reactionary beast with a cruel and dark heart. In flogging workers this regime is committing an act that has been banned in Britain since the reign of Queen Anne in early 18th century!
Please send a protest letter to put pressure on the Iranian regime to stop flogging labour activists and to release all class war prisoners immediately and unconditionally.