- AFL-CIO, ILO, UN, UNHCHR, US State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament
On Saturday, June 11, 2011, Ali Nejati was scheduled to be tried again on charges for which he has already faced prosecution and served prison time. His trial is to be held in Ahvaz Appeals Court, Branch 13. Before being fired from his job, Ali Nejati was a laborer at Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company. He is one of the board members of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company Workers’ Trade Union.
According to a report by the website of the Coordinating Committee to Create Labor Organizations, Ali Nejati has spent six months in prison for the same charge. After his prison term was over, prosecutors attempted to try him again, but the charges were dismissed by the court since they were repetitive.
After the acquittal, because of the prosecutor’s objection and pressure from intelligence officials, Ali Nejati’s case was once again referred to the appeals court at the provincial capital.
During previous court proceedings, the trial was postponed because Ali Nejati suffered a heart attack. Now he is being retried while suffering from heart failure and clogging of the arteries, and is physically weak after having undergone several heart surgeries.
For more than two years, Ali Nejati has been the target of pressure, prosecution and imprisonment for representing workers and being a board member of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company Workers’ Trade Union. Since he was fired from his job, he has also been suffering financially and has lost the means to support himself.
Once again, Iran’s judiciary and intelligence apparatus is exerting more pressure on Ali Nejati and his family in order to prevent this labor activist from continuing to seek justice for workers. He is being tried again on charges for which he has already served prison time.
We demand that this cruel persecution of labor leader Ali Nejati be halted immediately. Even the Islamic Republic's judiciary officials recognized that the double jeopardy trial is illegal, and it is clear that this travesty of a "trial" is going forward only because of pressure from the feared Intelligence Ministry.
Furthermore, the original trial and conviction of Mr. Nejati was also illegal under international human rights and labor statutes, as were the charges against him.
Ali Nejati was clearly a prisoner of conscience during his prior imprisonment--and he will become a prisoner of conscience once more if the international community does not stand up forcefully to the Islamic Republic of Iran and ensure that it ceases all forms of persecution against Ali Nejati and all other labor, civil and rights activists.
The Stop The Vindictive Persecution of Iranian Labor Leader Ali Nejati petition to AFL-CIO, ILO, UN, UNHCHR, US State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.