Friday, December 28, 2007


Letter from the TUC General Secretarty to Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei of Iran about the imprisoned trade unionist Mahmoud Salehi

21 December 2007

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street -
Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Islamic Republic of Iran

By email to

Your Excellency,

Mahmoud Salehi - Release on humanitarian grounds

On behalf of the Trades Union Congress, the national trade union centre for Great Britain, and the 6.5 million British trade union members, I request you to take urgent action to ensure that Mahmoud Salehi's many health problems be properly diagnosed and that he be seen by qualified specialist health professionals and provided with appropriate medical treatment outside prison.

No trade unionist should have to suffer what he, and his family, have suffered, and I call on the Iranian government to stop this inhumane treatment now. He shouldn't be in jail at all, of course, and the TUC, together with trade unionists all over the world, will neither forgive his persecutors nor forget his struggle.

We have been informed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) that Mahmoud Salehi, spokesperson for the Organisational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, was admitted to Tohid Hospital in the city of Sanandaj, unconscious, on 11 December, after having collapsed repeatedly in prison between 4 - 10 December. We know that Salehi has long-term medical concerns. We wish to bring to your attention the fact that he suffers from chronic kidney disease, as a result of which he required dialysis. He is also said to suffer from a heart disorder. Most recently, it was reported that he has grave intestinal edema or swelling that may be connected with his renal disease. Following his admission to hospital he received a brain scan. This revealed that blood vessels in his brain have been damaged. We deplore the fact that the authorities took him back to jail in such a critical condition.

Whilst we welcome the recent release of Ebrahim Madadi and Reza Dehgan from prison, we cannot let Salehi's health conditions deteriorate without voicing our grave concerns. This latest development has been the subject of worldwide attention and many organisations are deeply disturbed with the lack of humanitarian treatment by the Iranian authorities.

We once again stress that Mahmoud Salehi must be released immediately on humanitarian grounds or at least be given adequate medical care outside prison urgently. Given the circumstances, Salehi cannot stay in harsh prison facilities for the remaining time of his sentence until next March without serious implications on his health and at great risk to his life. We therefore appeal to you to show mercy and release him on humanitarian grounds, or pardon him.

I am copying this letter to the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon David Miliband MP.

Yours sincerely
General Secretary

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