The Fatal Condition of Jafar Azimzadeh Is Being Continued, International Community Shamefully Silent

 Monday, June 27, 2016 8:43:37 AM

By: Kaveh Taheri


The dire condition of hunger strike left Azimzadeh unconscious for a few hours. He's on the 61st day of hunger strike.


Jafar Azimzadeh, 50, was left unconscious for few hours due to the dire condition of hunger strike in Sina Hospital of Tehran in the Morning of Monday, June 27, 2016. He was transferred to the hospital from the notorious Evin prison on the 51st day of his hunger strike on June 18, 2016."I will do nothing for Jafar Azimzadeh even if he dies", Tehran's prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said after accepting to meet the wife of Jafar Azimzadeh.

The labor activist contracted a severe pain in his stomach, and he is in the serious risk of intestine failure, his relatives said.

Jafar Azimzadeh, the labor activist and Chairman of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, started a hunger strike on April 30, 2016 for his basic rights such as removing the charges of "associating and colluding with intent to act against national security" from the open files of protesting workers and teachers and imprisoned activists and an end to treating social and civil protests as security issues.

Before being transferred to Sina hospital, he was being held at Ward 8 of Evin prison amongst criminals imprisoned for serious offences such as pirates, thieves, embezzlement, fraud and forgery.

Jafar wrote in his letter that "we protested to wages under the line of poverty, the ban on holding independent and free celebration to mark International Workers' Day and Teachers' Day. The release of Esmail Abdi can't be used as a claim of addressing our demands and that of millions of workers and teachers, therefore, with a large appreciation for the support Iran's teachers and workers and labor, I will continue my indefinite hunger strike that I began on April 30.

"The five-page ruling by Branch 15 of the Revolution Court is based on the following instances: the building of the Free Union of Workers of Iran, the National Union of Unemployed Workers and the Committee to Follow Up the Formation of Free Labor Organizations; taking part in the International Workers' Day rally in Laleh Park in 2009, leading workers in the 2005 protests, organizing, planning and managing workers' gatherings under the current government and threatening to call rallies and strikes in March 2013, collecting 40,000 workers' signatures for a petition and leading the rallies outside the National Assembly and the Labor Ministry, threatening the Labor Ministry in a letter to the Labor Minister to hold a rally on this year's International Workers' Day outside the Labor Ministry in protest at the announced [level of the] minimum wage, lodging a complaint, on behalf of 1,000 workers, against Saeed Mortazavi and others who have plundered the Social Welfare Fund to the tune of 3,000 billion Toman, protest at even worse anti-labor amendments in the Labor Law, meeting with other independent workers' organizations, such as the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company, Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Workers Union, the Co-ordinating Committee to Form Free Labor Organizations, the Committee to Follow Up the Formation of Free Labor Organizations and giving interviews to the website of the Free Union of Workers of Iran and a number of international news media", Maryam Namazie stated.

He was sentenced to six years in prison and a two years ban of membership in parties and cyber activities for vague charges of "assembly and collusion against national security", "disturbing public order" and "propaganda against the regime of Iran" at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, chaired by Judge Abolghasem Salavati.

Jafar Azimzadeh, one of the coordinators of the 40,000 signature campaign for the increase of the minimum-wage, was arrested along with Shapoor Ehsani Rad, a board member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, for protesting discrimination against workers.

Jafar Azimzadeh was arrested on the eve of May Day in 2014 in Tehran by security agents and after 46 days was released from Evin prison on a bail of 1 billion IRR, HRANA said.

Mr. Azimzadeh was summoned to Evin to begin serving a six-year prison-term in October of 2015 and taken to Ward 8, human rights activists declared.

He was sent to serve six years in prison, only for coordinating 40,000 signature campaign for the increase of the minimum-wage; with the slogan of "We want BREAD". 

Previously, Mr. Azimzadeh was allegedly detained and went to Branch 1 of Saveh Revolutionary Court following Mr. Ehsani Rad's arrest in a raid by officials at his house. Azimzadeh was arrested for alleged news publications on the union website.


Follow Kaveh Taheri on Twitter: @TaheriKaveh