Last Friday, at lunchtime, 60 Iranian trade unionists were rounded up and arrested in the city of Karaj, the fifth largest city in Iran and just 20km from the capital. Most were members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations, including long time labour activist Mahmoud Salehi. By Saturday afternoon, most had been released, including Salehi, but the following nine remained in the custody of the intelligence services: Cyrus Fathi, Alireza Asqari, Jalil Mohammadi, Saeed Marzban, Masood Salim Pour, Maziar Mehrpour, Reyhaneh Ansari, Faramarz Fetrat Nejad and Mitra Homayouni.
They and other Iranian trade unionists deserve our solidarity and help, and Amnesty International have produced postcards which you can download, print and circulate for people to send to the Ayatollah Khamenei, focusing on prisoners of conscience Rasoul Bodaghi, Reza Shahabi (Zakaria), Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Shahrokh Zamani. And you can find out more background in an Amnesty International background note issued last week to mark the ILO Conference, as well as at the Justice for Iranian Workers website.