Wednesday 18 April 2012

Workers refused permission to hold May Day rally

Shahrzadnews -- Each year they try to find new ways to stop us raising our legitimate demands and demonstrating in support of our rights. This year they said that we can organise a rally, but only in the desert near the Beheshte Zahra cemetery, which is miles from the south Tehran suburbs. It’s just another way of trying to force us to abandon our plans.

Shahrzadnews: The Iranian government is engaged in vociferous exchanges with trade union leaders, concerning the right of workers to hold rallies on May Day, even though the occasion is recognised by Iranian labour legislation.

Trade union activist Hussein Taherzadeh told the ILNA News Agency that the government is constantly looking for new excuses to ban workers from marching during the annual international event.

“Each year they try to find new ways to stop us raising our legitimate demands and demonstrating in support of our rights. This year they said that we can organise a rally, but only in the desert near the Beheshte Zahra cemetery, which is miles from the south Tehran suburbs. It’s just another way of trying to force us to abandon our plans. It’s such a waste of time.”

According to Taherzadeh, Iranian labour legislation recognises May Day as an international day for workers. Article 27 of the constitution permits workers to march and hold rallies on the occasion, provided they are peacable and do not carry guns. However Committee 10 of the Majles (parliament), which oversees the activities of political parties, has always tried to ban such rallies. It was them that suggested that this year workers be allowed to gather in the fields surrounding a cemetery thirty miles south of the capital.

“The government ban is completely illegal,” Taherzadeh told the ILNA. “According to the constitution workers have right of assembly, the right to hold rallies and demonstrations, not just on May Day but every day of the year, and don’t have to ask for permission.




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