Friday, February 10, 2006
In support of the International Day To Support the Bus Drivers in IranFebruary 15, 2006 has been declared the International Day of Action on Iran. United Republicans of Iran lends its support for this call and has mobilized all its members to attend such events across the globe.
The bus workers in Tehran need our support both financially and morally. They are on strike demanding higher wages, a better working condition, the right to strike and freedom for their leader, Mansour Osanlu. Unfortunately these demands have been dealt with the harshest reaction. Hundreds of the striking workers, along with the family members and supporters have been sent to prison.
According to a statement send out by their spokesperson, the struggle continues and the morale of the strikers is high. We ask that you continue your support in any form you can. Join the Demonstration in front of the Iranian Embassies of your country.
Act now! Send letters of support to:
Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Ambassador Mohammad Reza Alborzi- Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Institutions in Geneva
Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28
1209 Geneva, Switzerland
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Monday, February 06, 2006
Full text of IAEA Board Resolution on Iran2/4/06
Full text of IAEA Board Resolution on Iran
The IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution requesting the IAEA Director General to report to the UN Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to the implementation of safeguards in Iran. Text of the resolution follows:
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Resolution adopted on 4 February 2006
The Board of Governors,
(a) Recalling all the resolutions adopted by the Board on Iran's nuclear programme,
(b) Recalling also the Director General's reports,
(c) Recalling that Article IV of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons stipulates that nothing in the Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable rights of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of the Treaty,
(d) Commending the Director General and the Secretariat for their professional and impartial efforts to implement the Safeguards Agreement in Iran, to resolve outstanding safeguards issues in Iran and to verify the implementation by Iran of the suspension,
(e) Recalling the Director General's description of this as a special verification case,
(f) Recalling that in reports referred to above, the Director General noted that after nearly three years of intensive verification activity, the Agency is not yet in a position to clarify some important issues relating to Iran's nuclear programme or to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran,
(g) Recalling Iran's many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply with its NPT Safeguards Agreement and the absence of confidence that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes resulting from the history of concealment of Iran's nuclear activities, the nature of those activities and other issues arising from the Agency's verification of declarations made by Iran since September 2002,
(h) Recalling that the Director General has stated that Iran's full transparency is indispensable and overdue for the Agency to be able to clarify outstanding issues (GOV/2005/67), relating to equipment, materials and activities which have applications in the conventional military area and in the civilian sphere as well as in the nuclear military area (as indicated by the Director General in GOV/2005/67),
(j) Recalling that in November 2005 the Director General reported (GOV/2005/87) that Iran possesses a document related to the procedural requirements for the reduction of UF6 to metal in small quantities, and on the casting and machining of enriched, natural and depleted uranium metal into hemispherical forms,
(k) Expressing serious concerns about Iran's nuclear programme, and agreeing that an extensive period of confidence-building is required from Iran,
(l) Reaffirming the Board's resolve to continue to work for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, and
(m) Recognising that a solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global nonproliferation efforts and to realising the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery,
1. Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's programme by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
• re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
• reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
• ratify promptly and implement in full the Additional Protocol;
• pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol which Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
• implement transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, including in GOV/2005/67, which extend beyond the formal requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations;
2. Requests the Director General to report to the Security Council of the United Nations that these steps are required of Iran by the Board and to report to the Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to this issue;
3. Expresses serious concern that the Agency is not yet in a position to clarify some important issues relating to Iran's nuclear programme, including the fact that Iran has in its possession a document on the production of uranium metal hemispheres, since, as reported by the Secretariat, this process is related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components; and, noting that the decision to put this document under Agency seal is a positive step, requests Iran to maintain this document under Agency seal and to provide a full copy to the Agency;
4. Deeply regrets that, despite repeated calls from the Board for the maintaining of the suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities which the Board has declared essential to addressing outstanding issues, Iran resumed uranium conversion activities at its Isfahan facility on 8 August 2005 and took steps to resume enrichment activities on 10 January 2006;
5. Calls on Iran to understand that there is a lack of confidence in Iran's intentions in seeking to develop a fissile material production capability against the background of Iran's record on safeguards as recorded in previous Resolutions, and outstanding issues; and to reconsider its position in relation to confidence-building measures, which are voluntary, and non legally binding, and to adopt a constructive approach in relation to negotiations that can result in increased confidence;
6. Requests Iran to extend full and prompt cooperation to the Agency, which the Director General deems indispensable and overdue, and in particular to help the Agency clarify possible activities which could have a military nuclear dimension;
7. Underlines that the Agency's work on verifying Iran's declarations is ongoing and requests the Director General to continue with his efforts to implement the Agency's Safeguards Agreement with Iran, to implement the Additional Protocol to that Agreement pending its entry into force, with a view to providing credible assurances regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and to pursue additional transparency measures required for the Agency to be able to resolve outstanding issues and reconstruct the history and nature of all aspects of Iran's past nuclear activities;
8. Requests the Director General to report on the implementation of this and previous resolutions to the next regular session of the Board, for its consideration, and immediately thereafter to convey, together with any Resolution from the March Board, that report to the Security Council; and
9. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
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Friday, February 03, 2006
Amnesty International calls for release of Iranian bus workers2/3/06
Amnesty International calls for release of Iranian bus workers
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to release immediately hundreds of Tehran bus workers who were detained last week apparently to pre-empt threatened strike action. Although some of the workers have been released, hundreds are reported still to be detained without charge or trial at Tehran’s Evin Prison.
The arrests began after the executive committee of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, which represents workers employed by the United Bus Company of Tehran (Sharekat-e Vahed), called for a strike on 28 January in support of various union demands. These included the release of the union’s leader, Mansour Ossanlu, who has been detained without charge or trial since 22 December 2005, the introduction of collective bargaining and for the bus company, which is run by the Tehran local authority, to grant a pay increase.
According to reports, leaflets announcing the strike were widely distributed in Tehran on 24 January 2006 and one member of the union’s executive, Hosseini Tabar, was detained for about four hours while helping with this. Next day, six other members of the union’s executive committee - Ebrahim Madadi, Mansour Hayat Ghaybi, Seyed Davoud Razavi, Sa’id Torabian, Ali Zad Hossein and Gholamreza Mirza’i - were summoned to appear at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran. When they did so on 26 January, they were arrested when they refused to call off the strike and taken to Evin Prison. Interviewed by the official IRNA news agency, the Mayor of Tehran reportedly described the union as illegal and said that the authorities would not permit the strike to go ahead. The United Bus Company’s management threatened workers who supported the strike call with the loss of their jobs.
The authorities then carried out mass arrests of union members on 27 January, the eve of the threatened strike, detaining some workers as they completed their shifts and others at their homes. Those detained included the wives of Mansour Hayat Ghaybi and Seyed Davoud Razavi, and a third union leader, Yaghub Salimi.
Security forces raided Yaghub Salimi’s home after he was interviewed by a Berlin-based radio station but he was absent at the time. However, his wife and their children were beaten and detained. Mahdiye Salimi, aged 12, described her ordeal later in a radio interview. She said that three women and five children had been arrested, that they had been beaten and that her two-year-old sister had been injured when she was pushed roughly into a security forces vehicle, and that her mother had been kicked in the chest. Mahdiye Salimi was released, together with her mother and young sister, when Yaghub Salimi gave himself up to the security forces. The other children and women who were detained are also now reported to have been released.
Hundreds more union members are reported to have been arrested on the day of the strike, 28 January, with most of these also being taken to Evin Prison. Workers were reportedly beaten with batons, punched, kicked and threatened to force them to work, including by members of the volunteer Basij force who had apparently been brought in replace striking workers, and security forces reportedly used tear gas and fired shots into the air. Further arrests were reported on 29 and 30 January.
Currently, only some 30 to 50 of those detained are reported to have been released, apparently after they agreed under duress to sign guarantees that they would not participate in strikes or other protest actions. As many as 500 others are believed still to be held at Evin Prison without access to lawyers or family. Some are reported to have started a hunger strike on 29 January to protest their detention. Another strike has been called for 2 February 2006.
Amnesty International is concerned that those detained are being held solely on account of their peaceful activities as trade unionists and as such are prisoners of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally. The right to form and join trade unions is well-established in international law, notably under Article 22 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Iran is a state party to both of these treaties.
Iran is also a member of the International Labour Organization and bound by its requirements, including the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association’s ruling that it is not legitimate for states to restrict the right to strike during disputes concerning workers’ occupational and economic interests. States can restrict the right to strike only in cases of acute national emergency (and then for a limited period only), which is clearly not the situation which prevails in Tehran. Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining are core principles of the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which requires all state parties “to respect, to promote and to realize, in good faith and in accordance with the Constitution, the principles [of the Declaration].”
The union representing Tehran’s bus workers was banned after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, then reactivated in 2004 although it is not legally-recognized. On 22 December 2005, police arrested 12 of the union’s leaders at their homes but quickly released four of them. Further union members were arrested on 25 December while staging a bus strike in Tehran to call for the release of their colleagues but they and all those arrested earlier were released in the following days with the exception of Mansour Ossanlu. He continues to be detained and to be denied access to a lawyer, and is said possibly to be facing serious charges of having contact with exiled opposition groups and instigating armed revolt.
Seven union members, including Mansour Hayat Ghaybi; Ebrahim Madadi; Reza Tarazi; Gholamreza Mirza’i; Abbas Najand Kouhi and Ali Zad Hossein, were reportedly summoned to appear before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 1 January 2006 to face public order charges but their trial was postponed when other union members protested outside the court.
On 7 January, five drivers were reportedly detained when bus company workers staged another strike but later freed.
For further information please see Urgent Action AI Index MDE 13/002/2006 which can be found at http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130022006?open&of=ENG-IRN