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Assault on the Families of Labor Activists in Iran

The families of the Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate are now targets of threat and physical violence by the Intelligence Ministry officials in Iran more than ever.

In recent weeks, the intelligence ministry agents have escalated their attacks on the families of Mansour Osanloo. According to the reports by the Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, Zoya Samadi, the daughter-in-law of Osanloo has been contacted several times by phone and received death threats. On one of those occasions, they told her: “You got a first-hand experience the last time. This time you can be sure you won’t survive,” referring to her earlier abduction and torture at their hands which resulted in her miscarriage.

Earlier, Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported that the Intelligence Ministry agents had showed up on Zoya’s door step ostensibly to deliver court summons. Failing to find her and her husband, they turned on the neighbors instead creating a major intimidating scene at the neighborhood.

Currently both Zoya and Osanloo’s wife, Parvaneh, have been summoned by the court. The intention is to intimidate and exert pressure on Osanloo himself.

Separately, according to the reports by the Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, on October 11, Intelligenece Ministry operatives arrived at the residence of Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, a Vahed labor activist, around 9:00 a.m. in order to arrest him. As the agents were not able to locate Mr. Ghlamhosseini at the house, they took his 15 year old son, Amir, and held him in captivity until 8 p.m. the same day. he was released after several family members rushed to the police station. But this wasn’t before Amir had been subjected to hard interrogation for several hours. Earlier, Gholamhosseini’s wife had been told that Amir’s release was conditional on obtaining information on her husband’s whereabouts. The operatives also took many personal belongings of Gholamhosseini away after a thorough search of the house.

Needless to say the agents produced no court warrants and were extremely rude and violent. The operation was led by “chief interrogtor Mohebi”. He happens to be a prominent torturer and Intelligence Minister official at the Revolutionary Guards ward of the notorious Gohardasht prison.

Gholamreza Gholamhosseini is one of the Vahed bus workers syndicate activists who was arrested during the 2005 strike. He was arrested and held for several weeks. He was subsequently released and fired from his job at Vahed bus company for four years. He was eventually allowed back to work 8 months ago following a court ruling but was fired again three months ago.

Gholamhosseini is currently on the run from Intelligence Ministry. He is wanted for attempting to organize a strike at Vahed bus company. Long periods of torture and interrogation awaits him if he is captured. Last month, Heydar Moslehi, the Minister of Intelligence, said in a press conference that “anyone engaged in economic acts of sabotage (meaning organizing labor strikes) will be dealt with severely.” International labor and human rights campaigners should take Moslehi’s words very seriously. We must prepare to exert maximum pressure on the regime to spare Gholamhosseini and other labor activists from vengeful retribution.

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