Human Rights, Solidarity with Workers

Ali Nejati was Prosecuted Today — Condemn Harassment of Labor Activists in Iran!

Report from 20 October 2012

As we had reported earlier, Ali Nejati, a labor activist and board member of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Syndicate, had been ordered to appear in court in Shoosh and face “charges” brought against him.

In today’s court session, he was told that the charges against him are that he has travelled to Kurdistan sometime in the past year. Based on a CD confiscated from Ali’s wife, he has been accused of addressing people and singing the “epic and provocative ballad,” Daya daya vaqt e janga (Oh mother, oh mother, it is time to go to war; see clip below) in a gathering on that occasion. This is a famous folkloric song that has been sung by the people of Luristan and Charmahal- Bakhtiyari and Fars across  Zagros region – from Khuzestan to Kurdistan – forever.

Ali has responded to this ridiculous charge by saying “Yes, we were in a big family gathering, and naturally in this kind of gathering people talk with each other and even sing, and this is not a crime.” At the end of the Islamic judiciary’s mockery, Ali was released on a bail of 1 million Touman.

He has been informed by the prosecutor that the CD will be send to Kermanshah to be analyzed. In the event that the Kermanshah Islamic court decides not to bring charges against him, he will be prosecuted in Shoosh again on the same charges.

As we have previously reported, Ali Nejati has served a six month prison sentence for participating in the organization of the Haft-Tappeh workers’ union, and was released only 27 days ago.

We at Mission Free Iran strongly condemn the Islamic Republic’s harassment of Ali Nejati, his wife Mrs. Shahnaaz Sagvand, and all other labor activists and their families.

We strongly condemn the Islamic Republic’s ridiculous fabrication of charges against Iranian political, women’s rights, childrens’ rights, and labor rights activists.

We strongly condemn the entire cruel mockery of the criminal Islamic “judiciary” system.

The Iranian Free Workers’ Union, IIWU has added the following at the end of its report: “protest by labor organizations and workers’ against the present catastrophic situation is one of the most basic human rights of the Iranian working class. Summons and prosecution of protesting workers for any excuse will not interrupt the struggle and endeavour of workers in defense of our livelihood and existence.” We at MFI wholeheartedly support their position.

This is the song, Daya daya vaqt e janga, that Nejati was prosecuted for singing.


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