ITF condemns Iran’s death penalty threats against truckers

An International truckers’ federation today condemned the calls for the execution of detained truck drivers who were on strike in the northwestern province of Qazvin in Iran.

The calls were made by the head of the Qazvin Court four days ago. Mohsen Karami said that they had requested the capital punishment for 17 apprehended people involved in the strike adding that if it was proven that they were “moharebs”, enemies of God, they would be sentenced to heavy punishments such as death.

In a media release published on its website, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which has 16.5 million members all over the world, condemned the threats of death against strikers “in the strongest of terms.”

“The death penalty for striking is the most serious of violations of workers’ rights, it’s inhumane and unthinkable”, said ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton. “From what we understand, Iran’s truckers took action as a last resort in the struggle to feed their families. The threat of the death penalty is utterly disproportionate.”

“ITF affiliates globally are urging the Iranian government to listen to their truckers’ demands. It is economic solutions that are needed. Not threats of executions,” he added.

According to the media release, Mr. Cotton has approached the International Labour Organization (ILO), of which Iran is a founder and governing body member, and has asked the UN agency to intervene.

“The death penalty for striking is the most serious of violations of workers’ rights, it’s inhumane and unthinkable.”

ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton

The International Transport Workers’ Federation is a global union founded in 1896. In 2017, the ITF had 677 member unions in 149 countries, representing a membership of 16.5 million transport workers in various transport sectors.

In other develpments, a Denmark truckers union with 50,000 members also supported Iran’s striking truck drivers.

United Federation of Danish Workers supports Iran’s truckers strike

“The transport department of the United Federation of Danish Workers expresses its complete solidarity with striking Iranian truck drivers on behalf of its 50,000 members,” the transport department of the United Federation of Danish Workers said in a statement read out outside of its headquarters.

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