Statement on the death in custody of Shahrokh Zamani in Iran

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) has demanded a full and independent investigation into the circumstances of the tragic death in custody of Shahrokh Zamani, Iranian labour activist, at Rajai Shahr Prison.

Zamani was active in Iran’s labour movement, helping to facilitate the establishment of independent workers’ associations. He belonged to a committee that oversaw the creation of workers’ groups and was a member of Iran’s Building Painters and Decorators Syndicate. He was arrested in Tabriz on 4th June 2011 on charges of “propaganda against the regime”, “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “helping to establish groups that undermined national security.”

These are the standard charges used by the Iranian regime for those who speak up for independent trade unions and human rights.

At the time of his death, on 12th September 2015, Zamani had served less than half of his 11 year sentence.

CODIR is concerned that a number of suspicious deaths have been reported at Rajai Shahr Prison in recent years.

Suspicions about the circumstances of Zamani’s death have been raised by cellmates, who have said that Zamani was fond of sports, in good physical shape, showed no signs of illness and was a non-smoker.

Although the Iranian regime claims that Zamani has died of a stroke, reports of “black and bruised” areas on his body cast doubts upon this assessment. His corpse has now been transferred to the coroner’s officer for a post mortem examination.

CODIR calls upon all labour and progressive organisations around the world to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately end all executions, torture and mistreatment of labour activists and political prisoners.

In particular, CODIR calls for

  • an independent international inquiry into the death of Shahrokh Zamani and the conditions of other jailed labour activists and political prisoners in Iran;
  • an independent international inquiry into the death of Shahrokh Zamani and the conditions of other jailed labour activists and political prisoners in Iran;
  • an independent international inquiry into the death of Shahrokh Zamani and the conditions of other jailed labour activists and political prisoners in Iran;

CODIR urges labour and human rights organisations and concerned individuals around the world to urgently express their strongest condemnation of the death of Shahrokh Zamani.

PLEASE SEND protest letters to:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian)
Email: info_leader@leader.ir

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
Email: media@rouhani.ir
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Email: iran@un.int

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