The IUF has written the government of Iran to demand the immediate and unconditional release of long-time labour rights defenders Haleh Safarzadeh and Alireza Saghafi. The two were arrested on March 11, 2022 and immediately taken to Kachuei Prison in Karaj to serve one-year sentences dating from 2019.
- Safarzadeh, a teacher, and Saghafi, a writer and auto mechanic, work with the Center for Workers’ Rights, informing workers of their fundamental rights and defending victims of repression
- The two were first arrested together with other worker rights advocates on April 26, 2019 in the run-up to planned May Day celebrations across Iran; they were tried and convicted later that year on spurious charges of ‘propaganda against the system’
- The 2019 May Day crackdown on civil and labour rights defenders was a prelude to the brutal repression of the mass demonstrations which swept Iran in November that year, in which hundreds of workers were killed and thousands arrested
IUF General Secretary Sue Longley stated, “Rights defenders in Iran and internationally have warned that repression against rights defenders has increased significantly in 2022. The IUF calls on the government of Iran to release Haleh Safarzadeh and Alireza Saghafi immediately and unconditionally.”