We write in protest at the Iranian government shirking its responsibility in the death of Shahrokh Zamani, the well-known labour activist found dead in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison a year ago. Shahrokh Zamani was one of the founders of the committee to pursue the establishment of workers’ organisations. His activities included trying to relaunch the painters’ union, organising and taking part in illegal May Day celebrations, publishing a journal and other activities the Iranian regime considered to have “endangered national security”.
Shahrokh was arrested on 4 June 2011 in Tabriz. Even though the charges against him were not proved in court, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. While in prison he was put under intense pressure: solitary confinement, frequent transfers, denial of medical care, not being allowed visitors and so on. He was also not given permission to go to his only daughter’s wedding or to his mother’s funeral. He had to go on hunger strike more than once to get his basic rights. During his second hunger strike, which lasted 50 days, he lost 20kg in weight.