Thursday, December 20, 2007

Act now to save Iranian trade unionist Mahmoud Salehi!

(Again, this appeal for solidarity doesn't need any comment from me).

From the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

1- URGENT ACT NOW - Amnesty International Online Action for Salehi

2- To All Medical Organizations, Nephrologists, and to all diligent persons of conscience in this field (From Najibeh Salehzadeh)

3- Prominent Labour Activist Mahmoud Salehi's Life is at Risk! By Iranian labour solidarity organizations in Europe, North America and Australia


(1) Call on the Iranian authorities to release Mahmoud Salehi on humanitarian grounds, or to ensure he urgently receives appropriate medical treatment.

Jailed Iranian trade union leader Mahmoud Salehi is facing an acute medical emergency and Amnesty and the international trade union movement are coming together to press the Iranian authorities to release him or protect his health.

The Amnesty UK hosted online web action for Salehi is now live at Please circulate this as widely as possible and create links from you websites. We will be circulating this to further networks in the period ahead.

We have also completely updated our Iran Trade Union Action pages at: On these pages you can find other actions, including how to send a message of hope to Salehi and fellow jailed Iranian trade unionst Mansour Ossanlu and their families. PLEASE ACT NOW!


(2) To All Medical Organizations, Nephrologists, and to all diligent persons of conscience in this field: From Najibeh Salehzadeh

Yesterday, December 16th, 2007, my husband Mahmoud Salehi was returned to prison from Tohid Hospital in Sanandaj where he had been refused all medical attention and any visit from specialists. His right kidney is completely impaired and the left, which is polycystic, is hardly functional.

On December 11, 2007 Mahmoud was taken to the hospital because he had lost his balance, collapsed and fell completely unconscious. At the hospital, instead of treating his kidney disease, they placed him in the Neurology Department. This hospital neither has a specialized department for kidney disease, nor capable Neurology services.
He has not been able to release fluids for over a week now; his stomach is swollen and there is a high risk of septicemia (blood poisoning). The prison authorities obviously insist to deprive him from any kidney diagnosis and treatment.

Mahmoud's kidney problem is hereditary. His mother had the same problem. His sister and her younger child are suffering from the same illness. In 1981, Mahmoud consulted Dr. Abrishami, a Nephrologist in Mahabad city, where he was in exile as the result of his labour activities. That is when he found that he had kidney stone. He hasn't had a chance for any effective treatments ever since, as he has been repeatedly incarcerated for his worker activism.

In April 2004, my husband met with Anna Biondi of the ICFTU committee. In that meeting he talked about Iranian workers' condition. The mission was paying a formal visit to Iran upon an invitation by a government-sponsored organization. As this was not pleasant to Iranian authorities, they arrested him for the action he had taken in organizing the international worker's day (May Day) celebrations. His actual imprisonment is also with the same excuses!
Last year, prior to his arrest, Dr. Moussavi- a specialist in Saqez city advised him to consider beginning dialysis. Doctors in the city of Rezaieh, after having several tests, also diagnosed kidney infection which required a kidney surgery immediately.

The pre-surgery preparations were done but the judicial authorities maliciously arrested Mahmoud on April 9, 2007 and put him behind the bars. As a result, he missed his surgery appointment.

It seems that his arrest was intentional to deprive him from all possible treatments and medical care. Presently, instead of being treated by a kidney specialist, he has been seen by others. That might be good only for the prison's medical filing purposes but it will extend my husband's deprivation of an effective kidney treatment and care.

At this point, the physical health of my partner is extremely severe. One of his kidneys has stopped working and because of being deprived of proper medical treatment the other kidney is losing its functions. His blood pressure fluctuates and his blood sugar is surging. He falls unconscious about twice daily. The lack of treatment of his kidney has affected his heart as well. His feet and legs are swollen and the excessive injections of tranquilizers have seriously endangered hiswell-being.

My husband, Mahmoud salehi, is a labour activist. He is very well known both in Iran and abroad. All these attempts are to eliminate him because of the role he has played in raising awareness and forming workers' organizations along with his fellow comrades. Helping to neutralize such plots against Mahmoud will contribute to the continuation of actions for creating a healthy society society. A society in which there is freedom of speech, right to strike and right to organize for all workers.

Helping Mahmoud with his physical and emotional health is a humanitarian duty for us and for every person of conscience. For both personal and social reasons, I urge you to act in every possible way to prevent Mahmoud's death in prison for a treatable illness. We need to help prepare Mahmoud's treatment in a specialized clinic.

With many thanks,
Najibeh Salehzadeh, Mahmoud Salehi's wife
26 Azar 1386 (December 17, 2007)


(3) Prominent Labour Activist Mahmoud Salehi's Life is at Risk!
To:- International workers' rights organizations- Amnesty International- Doctors Without Border and Lawyers Without Borders

As you are aware, Mahmoud Salehi, a well-known labour activist and a representative of bakery workers of Saqez, who was arrested during a May Day demonstration in 2004, has been imprisoned since April 2007 in Sandandaj's central prison. Mahmoud has been detained while he suffers from serious kidney disease. His health is being deteriorated drastically on daily basis. One of his kidneys has stopped working and the other one requires continuous and essential care and dialysis treatment by specialist physicians.

In recent days, Mahmoud's physical health has been severely worsened and his blood pressure has been increasing. As a result, his brain's vessels are damaged and he has fallen unconscious a number of times in recent days.

On December 11, 2007, Mahmoud was taken to the Towhid Hospital in city of Sanandaj while unconscious. In Sanandaj, there are no specialized facilities for kidney disease patients, thus in that hospital they have only been giving Salehi tranquilizers and sedatives.
Moreover, Mahmoud Salehi was insulted, mistreated and threatened with death by one of the jail security guards last week. Some of the prisoners have been on hunger strike to protest such mistreatments.

Labour, human rights and freedom-loving organizations! Mahmoud Salehi's life is at risk and the Islamic Republic regime is directly responsible for his well-being and life. It is absolutely necessary to exert pressures on the Islamic Republic regime for the freedom of Mahmoud Salehi and his proper treatment by specialist physicians. We, as representatives of the solidarity committees and organizations with the Iranian labour movement ask internationallabour and human rights organizations to take urgent actions by pressurizing the Islamic Republic for immediate release and treatment of Mahmoud Salehi. Our urgent request is that you formally demand the Islamic Republic government to release Salehi for urgent medical treatment by qualified specialist physicians. Furthermore, we call for a medical mission to be dispatched to Iran by concerned international organizations to visit Salehi for medical examination and in order to pressurize the Islamic Republic for his immediate medical treatment.

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