THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume X, Issue # 31, February 4, 2008
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity
Home Page   Main Menu   Recent Articles   Site Map   Website Index   Issues & Controversies
  Cyberland University   Political Science, Philosophy, & History: Lectures   U.S. Constitution
  American Constitutional Law   American Constitutional System   American Political System
  Conservatism, Liberalism, & Radicalism   How America Goes to War
  World War IV: Islamist Terror War Against the U.S.A. & the West

DISSIDENT WATCH:  MAHMOUD SALEHI
By Dr. Michael Rubin

THE ABSENCE OF CIVIL LIBERTIES IN IRAN:  THE IRANIAN POLITICAL REGIME & ITS DENIAL OF THE RIGHT TO PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY & ORGANIZED DISSENT -- THE IRANIAN DICTATORSHIP'S CONTINUING SUPPRESSION OF LABOR UNION ACTIVITY -- THE REGIME'S CONTINUING ARREST, IMPRISONMENT, & MISTREATMENT OF LABOR UNION LEADERS -- THE CASE OF MAHMOUD SALEHI
FULL STORY:   On April 9, 2007, Iranian security forces arrested Mahmoud Salehi, the former President of the Bakery Workers' Association in Saqez, a town in the Kurdistan province of northwestern Iran. They transferred him to prison in Sanandaj, the provincial capital, where he remains. [1]

Salehi's labor activity dates to May 1, 1983, when, as a 21-year-old, he organized a labor protest in Mahabad that resulted in a one-day work stoppage at sixty local bakeries. Forced to leave Mahabad, one of the largest cities in the region, he returned to Saqez, where, in 1986, the Intelligence Ministry again arrested him for his attempt to organize workers protesting poor working conditions. Released from prison after three years, he resumed his union activities, founding the Trade Association of Saqez Bakery Workers in 1994. Police harassed him, arresting him during several weeks in 1995 and 1999. In 2000, while European leaders toasted President Muhammad Khatami, whom they considered a reformist, the Iranian judiciary imprisoned Salehi for ten months and forcibly stripped him of his union affiliation. Even though he had received a permit from the Governor to participate, state security officers arrested Salehi during his 2001 May Day address. Released three days later, the Intelligence Ministry ordered his dismissal from work. [2]

Beginning on May 1, 2004, after security forces again arrested labor activists at a rally in Saqez, Salehi and six colleagues went on a hunger strike. Although the Iranian government released the activists on bail, they maintained the charges against them for organizing an illegal union. On several subsequent occasions, Iranian security forces briefly detained Salehi and his colleagues for questioning. [3]

On November 11, 2006, the Saqez Revolutionary Court sentenced Salehi to four years imprisonment, although the Kurdistan Court of Appeals reduced this sentence to one year. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has condemned the subsequent trials, which were held behind closed doors. [4]

On April 9, 2007, and without any notice or court summons, Iranian police took Salehi to prison. [5] The Iranian government has since denied him medical care, despite his advanced kidney disease. Salehi's imprisonment marks an acceleration in the Iranian government's fight against independent labor. Three months after Salehi's re-arrest, Iranian police also returned Mansour Osanlou, the head of the Tehran bus drivers' union (profiled in the Winter, 2007 Middle East Quarterly), [6] to prison. Police continue to round up union activists from a number of sectors.

On August 8, 2007, Salehi smuggled a letter from prison that stated:

    "Workers in Iran are in a delicate situation in which they are moving beyond lack of organizations to a new stage in which mass organizations are being formed. We have to be out during this stage." [7]

What a contrast there is between the silence greeting Salehi's pleas and those of Polish trade unionist Lech Walesa, who, in August, 1980, led a strike that the autocratic government in Warsaw deemed illegal. Rather than ignore the striking workers, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and various European leaders spoke out on Walesa's behalf. In 1983, Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize and, upon Communism's crumble, assumed Poland's Presidency. Rather than enable history to repeat itself in Iran, though, U.S. and European silence condemns a new generation of Iranian Walesa's to rot in prison.

NOTES:
[1] "Iran: Free Mahmoud Salehi Now," LabourStart.org, Apr. 18, 2007, accessed Oct. 3, 2007.

[2] "Mahmoud Salehi's Brief Biography," International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, accessed Oct. 3, 2007.

[3] Ibid.

[4] "ICFTU takes complaints of crumbling respect for workers' rights to the highest level," news release, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Feb. 14, 2005.

[5] "Earlier today the security forces in Saghez rearrested Mahmoud Salehi," news release, Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network, Apr. 9, 2007.

[6] Michael Rubin, "Dissident Watch: Mansour Osanlou," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2007, p. 96.

[7] "Message of Mahmoud Salehi from Sanandaj Prison," International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, Aug. 8, 2007.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
The Middle East & the Problem of Iran

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

American Foreign Policy -- Constitutional Democracy:
U.S. Promotion of Constitutional Democracy in Foreign Countries

Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy



Dr. Michael Rubin, a Ph.D. in History (Yale University) and a specialist in Middle Eastern politics, Islamic culture and Islamist ideology, is Editor of the Middle East Quarterly, a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Dr Rubin is author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001) and is co-author, with Dr. Patrick Clawson, of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Dr. Rubin served as political advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (2003-2004); staff advisor on Iran and Iraq in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (2002-2004); visiting lecturer in the Departments of History and International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2001-2002); visiting lecturer at the Universities of Sulaymani, Salahuddin, and Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan (2000-2001); Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1999-2000); and visiting lecturer in the Department of History at Yale University (1999-2000). He has been a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Leonard Davis Institute at Hebrew University, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.


The foregoing article by Dr. Rubin was originally published in the Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2008 and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/article/1846 )


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
February 4, 2008




Return to Top of Page

Go to the WEBSITE INDEX

Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Public Issues & Political Controversies


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA
Most Recent Articles


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Volume X, 2007


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Subject Matter Highlights


Return to POLITICAL EDUCATION Homepage

CONTACT & ACCESS INFORMATION




LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:

Africa: Black Africa * Africa: North Africa * American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control


This is not a commercial website. The sole purpose of the website is to share with interested persons information regarding civics, civic and social education, political science, government, politics, law, constitutional law and history, public policy, and political philosophy and history, as well as current and recent political developments, public issues, and political controversies.



POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS

POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE

Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.

Government, Politics, Public Policy, Legal Issues, Constitutional Law, Government & the Economy, Cultural Values, Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Military Defense & National Security, Geopolitics, Terrorism & Homeland Security, American National Interests, Political Systems & Processes, Political Institutions, Political Ideologies, & Political Philosophy

INDEX FOR THE ENTIRE WEBSITE

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis

Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

Conservative & Free-Market Analysis of Government, Politics & Public Policy, Covering Political, Legal, Constitutional, Economic, Cultural, Military, International, Strategic, & Geopolitical Issues


Conservative Government Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity