Release Jelve Javaheri and Kaveh Mozzafari—End the Detention of Workers Rights and Campaign Activists

Friday 29 May 2009

Release Jelve Javaheri and Kaveh Mozzafari
End the Detention of Workers Rights and Campaign Activists

On May 1, 2009 on the occasion of International Workers Day, the peaceful gathering which was to take place at the invitation of workers rights groups in Laleh Park in Tehran, was met with violence before the start of the day’s events. Among those arrested were ordinary citizens passing by the event, students, workers rights activists and several members of the One Million Signatures Campaign. These arrests took place despite the fact that the 27th Article of the Iranian Constitution allows for peaceful gatherings and protests.

Some of those arrested on International Workers Day have been charged with “collusion with intent to participate in a protest”, “actions against national security” and “disruption of public order.” Some have been released on third party guarantees or by posting bail, but others continue to be detained. According to explanations provided by family members, those detained are being held in section 240 of Evin prison and are being subjected to violent interrogations (including kicking, slapping, punches in the face, slamming of prisoners into walls, and lengthy beating sessions). In recent days despite having transferred many of those detained to the public ward of the prison, some have been transferred again to section 240 and section 209 of Evin prison and have once again been subjected to beatings.

Despite repeated formal complaints in the form of letters by the detainees themselves to the office of the Head of the Judiciary, the Parliamentary Commission on Article 90 (charged with oversight and investigation of complaints against government officials), and the Parliamentary Commission on National Security, as well as follow-up and complaints by family members, no official clarifications and explanations have been provided with respect to the situation of those detained. According to reports from among those detained on May 1, 20 men still remain in prison, including Campaign member Kaveh Mozzafari who according to reports is facing severe physical and emotional pressure.

Despite not having been present in Laleh Park for the gathering, Jelve Javaheri was arrested in early morning at her home. Her husband, Kaveh Mozzafari was arrested on May 1, prior to the start of the planned peaceful gathering. When officials, along with Mozzafari, came to his home to search the premises, they arrested his wife, Jelve Javaheri as well. The security officials took Javaheri by force and without an arrest warrant and then proceeded to seal the doors of their home. Despite the fact that all the women arrested on May 1 have been released and despite the fact that security officials interrogating Javaheri have told her that she was arrested by mistake, she continues to remain in detention illegally. Both Javehri and Mozzafari continue to be interrogated while in detention in relation to their activities in the Campaign and have faced pressures and false accusations.

We as the signatories of this statement demand that government officials, especially the Head of the Judiciary, ensure the physical and psychological safety and security of those in detention, end immediately the psychological and other forms of pressure on those still in detention, acquit all those who were arrested on May 1, and immediately and unconditionally release all those still in detention, including the two members of the Campaign, Jelve Javaheri and Kaveh Mozzafari.

Please support Jelve and Kave and others arrested on May 1. Sign the petition to demanding their release


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