Oil Workers Condemn Arbitrary Arrests, Pledge to Continue Protests
“We will Not Remain Silent”
A union representing oil workers in Iran has published a statement condemning Iranian authorities for arbitrarily arresting their colleagues who have joined the nationwide, anti-state protests that have been ongoing throughout the country since September 16, 2022.
Protests by large numbers of oil and petrochemical project workers began in the towns of Asalouyeh, Bushehr Province, as well as in Abadan, Khuzestan Province, one of Iran’s biggest oil and petrochemical centers, on October 10.
Following is the statement by the Contractual Oil Workers Protest Organizing Council, which it published on October 11, 2022, which has been translated into English from Persian by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
Statement in protest against the dispatch of forces to suppress the strike in oil centers and to make arrests
You have arrested our colleagues. As we have declared, we will not remain silent. Following the strike and protests by our colleagues in the South Pars field and Abadan refinery, the government brought its repressive forces to Asalouyeh and a number of our colleagues were detained. The security situation is very tense.
The names of some of those arrested are: Mehdi Jahanbakhshi, Ali Mahmoudi, Hadi Mowlaie, Nourali Bahadori, Farid Kouravand, Kambiz Mehmadi, Shahin Najafi, (?) Ahmedpour, Farshid Moradi, Ali Shapouri, and Omid Kouravand.
Despite these arrests, today our colleagues went on strike and held a rally at the Abadan refinery and will continue to protest and strike until the release of the arrested colleagues and the recall of repressive forces from the workplaces.
The Contractual Oil Workers Protest Organizing Council strongly condemns the suppression and arrest of our colleagues in Asalouyeh (Bushehr province, southern Iran) and firmly declares the security and repressive forces that they will pay a heavy price for these arrests.
As our colleagues in Kangan (Bushehr province) have warned, we are giving you an ultimatum that if our detained colleagues are not released immediately and the repressive forces are not recalled from our streets and workplaces, we will carry on with the protests wider than ever.
Have no doubt that we, the oil project workers, whose lives and livelihoods for years have been taken hostage under the merciless and predatory grip of contractors in the garrisoned oil regions, will not be silenced by this repression. We promise you that we will protest more strongly against these repressions and for the release of our detained colleagues.
We call on our colleagues in all the oil centers to support us with their strikes. We also ask all workers in various labor centers to go on strike in our support.
In conclusion, we once again express our solidarity with the people’s protests on the streets against the killing of Mahsa and Mahsas, and against the suppression of their rightful protests.
We emphasize that those arrested during recent protests and all political prisoners must be immediately released, the repressive forces should be recalled from the streets, and the killers of Mahsa and others during this period must be put on trial.