The Islamic Republic of Iran has fabricated legal cases against nine mineworkers of Bafgh Iron Ore mine (in Yazd province, south east Iran), who went on strike last summer. Their initial court was held last week, on 17 January. They have been accused of ‘disturbing the peace’ and ‘shutting down the mine’! A second session of the court is to be held on 16 February. These workers had been detained previously but were released after a few days after strong support by the 5000 workers of Bafgh, the sit-in by their families and the support of the people of the town of Bafgh.
The trial of the nine striking workers is an effrontery against workers by Iran’s Islamic state. This is in fact the trial of the 5000 workers of Bafgh and their families who are fighting for their rights against the parasitic rulers. It is intimidation of workers in order to force them to submit to poverty, unemployment and miserable wages. Defence of these workers is the duty of all people who are fighting to rid themselves of this regime, its anti-worker laws and its judicial system. We should not let the state frame workers who are protesting for job security, mine safety and a decent pay. We should not let any sentence be passed against these workers. The families of workers in the sit-in last year called for the release of the jailed workers without any conditions or bail, and forced the regime to submit to their demand. But the authorities kept the threat of court and trial over workers’ head by trumped up charges.
The time break between the first and the second court is a chance for us to work to support these nine workers in any way we can and force the regime to drop the cases. Our party calls on all workers, students, workers’ organisations and rights organisations in Iran and worldwide to express their solidarity with the Bafgh mineworkers and the nine indicted miners. We call up on the miners of Bafgh, their families and the people of Bafgh to come forth and demand that the framing of workers must stop! Workers have the unconditional right to strike, protest and organise against oppression, lack of rights and economic impoverishment.
Our party calls on all labour organisations around the world to condemn the persecution of striking workers and demand an end to all kinds of fabricated charges against Bafgh miners and all other workers. We also call on you to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all jailed workers and teachers and all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
Worker-communist Party of Iran
20 January 2016