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Iran: International campaign to release Mahmoud Salehi

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On April 9 the security forces in Saghez (in Iranian Kurdistan) rearrested Mahmoud Salehi. He has been facing several false charges since May Day 2004. On that day he and many other labour activists were arrested for attempting to organise a May Day rally in Saghez.

Earlier today the security forces in Saghez (in Iranian Kurdistan) rearrested Mahmoud Salehi.

In an interview with the Seda-ye No radio station Najibeh Salehzadeh, Salehi's wife, and Jalal Hosseini, one of the 'Saghez seven', broke the news that Mahmoud Salehi had been arrested around noon today (9 April). Security personnel and officials from the prosecutor's office arrested Mr Salehi without presenting any court order or documents about his new sentence. In protest against this arrest, which even his lawyers knew nothing about, Salehi refused to sign the summons.

He was taken to the prosecutor's office and then was transferred to an unknown location. His wife and Jalal Hosseini have expressed serious concerns about Salehi's health condition, as he has severe kidney problems.

Mahmoud Salehi has been facing several false charges since May Day 2004. On that day he and many other labour activists were arrested for attempting to organise a May Day rally in Saghez. After the initial wave of arrests seven labour activists were charged with a variety of baseless 'crimes'. Salehi was accused of the following: supporting the CPI and the WCPI, forming an illegal workers' committee to serve the objectives of Komala, issuing a statement condemning the government for the killing of Khatoonabad workers, acts against national security, taking part in an "illegal gathering" and so on.

Salehi and the other six became known as the 'Saghez seven' following international campaigns in their support. Since then Salehi has been sentenced to five year imprisonment and three years internal exile. He is currently awaiting the verdict from his appeal trial.

The final appeal hearings for Mahmoud Salehi, Mohsen Hakimi, Jalal Hosseini and Borhan Divargar were held on 11 March 2007 at the Kurdistan Province Court of Appeal, Division 7, and they are all awaiting their verdicts. The Saghez revolutionary Court had previously sentenced Hosseini to three years in prison, and Divargar, Hakimi and Abdipoor were each given two years.

Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network and Workers' Action Committee (Iran) condemn Mahmoud Salehi's arrest and call on all labour activists to begin an international campaign to free him.

Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
Workers' Action Committee (Iran)
9 April 2007

Solidarity » Iran