EI has continued to provide advice and support to its member organisation, the Cooperative Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations (CCITTA). EI has continued, with CCITTA, to inform the international community about the denial of union rights for public teachers. Allegations were submitted to the UN ECOSOC International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as to the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
In December, the UN General Assembly expressed deep concern at reports of human rights violations in Iran, including torture, the use of cruel punishments and “pervasive gender inequality and violence against women,” and called on Tehran to strengthen its national human rights institutions. In the resolution 66/175, adopted by 89 member states (30 votes against, 64 abstentions), the UN voiced deep concern at Iran’s “serious on-going, systemic, and serious restrictions of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression”.
EI and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have requested a direct intervention of the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to request that Iran annul the death penalties for trade unionists.
EI has requested the Iranian authorities to cease putting state pressure on trade unions and to release detained union activists, as well as to formally acknowledge the legitimacy of the Coordinating Council of ITTAs. EI has specifically raised concerns about the detention of teacher unionists Abdolreza Ghanbari and Rasoul Bodaghi. A number of detained teacher unionists have been released on bail in December 2011.
EI has also continued to engage in the international campaign ’Justice for Iranian Workers’ which is a network of trade union rights activists from the Global Unions and Amnesty International. EI also shared information with the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR).
On 5 March 2012, EI welcomed the decision of Iran’s Supreme Court to repeal the death sentence for former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirza Hekmati. EI had written to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to protest against the execution sentence issued in a closed-door trial in January on suspicions of spying. Amir Hekmati, 28, was the first American to receive a death penalty in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution there. He was arrested in August 2011, while visiting his ailing Iranian grandmother.
EI launched a campaign on 7 March 2012 through the LabourStart website to stop the execution of Iranian unionised academic Abdolreza Ghanbari who was arrested at his home in January 2010. He was charged with ‘Moharebeh’ (enmity towards God) for receiving unsolicited emails from an armed opposition group, to which he does not belong. While in detention at the notorious Evin Prison, Prof. Ghanbari has been interrogated for 25 days in a row and forced to confess under duress to unproven charges. Prof. Ghanbari has been waiting on death row since his death sentence was confirmed by Tehran's Appeal Court in April 2010. A request for pardon was rejected on 28 February 2012 by the Commission of Justice in Tehran.
The campaign in support of Ghanbari was the most successful LabourStart campaign ever (15,500 online messages in 14 languages