Supporters of the Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign gathered at the Iranian regime’s London embassy today. We were commemorating the life of Shahrokh a year on from his death in prison and standing in solidarity with all Iranian workers and youth struggling for the right to organise, for democracy and freedom from repression.
We left a letter signed by prominent British Labour movement figures, which was also sent to the Guardian newspaper, at the Embassy. The text is reproduced below:
“We write in protest at the Iranian government shirking its responsibility in the death of Shahrokh Zamani, the well-known labour activist found dead in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison a year ago.
“Shahrokh Zamani’s was one of the founders of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations. His activities included trying to re-launch the painters’ union, organising and taking part in illegal May Day celebrations, publishing a journal and other activities the Iranian regime considered as “endangered national security”.
“Shahrokh was arrested on June 4th 2011 in Tabriz. Even though the charges against him were not proven in court he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. While in prison he was put under intense pressure: solitary confinement, frequent transfers, denial of medical care, not being allowed visitors and so on. He was also not given permission to go to his only daughter’s wedding or to his mother’s funeral. He had to go on hunger strike more than once to get his basic rights. During his second hunger strike, which lasted 50 days, he lost 20kgs in weight.
“Undeterred Shahrokh continued his activities in jail and even stepped them up: writing articles, issuing statements and calls to action, organising cells outside the prison and so on. Then, on September 13th 2015, Shahrokh was found has dead by his cell-mates.
“The labour movement internationally must demand an investigation of the circumstances of Shahrokh’s death and the bringing to trial of those responsible.”
Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union
Rhea Wolfson, National Executive Committee, Labour Party
Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union
Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
Shahrokh Zamani is a hero and martyr of the labour movement. The best way to commemorate him is to build a movement to ensure that there are no more martyrs.
– For the unconditional release of all imprisoned labour activists!
– For the right to form independent labour organisations!
– For the right to strike!
– For solidarity with all workers’ struggles internationally!