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IRANIAN communists are demanding “the immediate and unconditional release” of May Day demonstrators they say were rounded up by police as they tried to mark International Workers’ Day.
The Tudeh Party of Iran said that “workers, teachers, pensioners and students” had assembled peacefully in front of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, as Iran’s parliament is formally known, but had met violence from riot and plain-clothes police.
They had already been deployed in the area and were “ready to attack the rally from the very beginning.”
Banners at the rally read: “Bread, work and freedom are our absolute rights” and “The cost of inflation is human life.”
Other banners demanded freedom for imprisoned trade unionists. The longstanding persecution of trade unionists has intensified following large strikes by steelworkers and lorry drivers last year.
The crowd also asserted their right to peaceful protest and called for the abolition of the death penalty — Iran executes more people per capita than any other country.
The party said “dozens” of those present were arrested, including trade union members, at least one retired individual and “young people participating in the rally in support of their working parents.”
It saluted participants for waging a “co-ordinated and united struggle against poverty, misery and religious despotism.”
A statement called for further mobilisations to “force the tyrannical regime to retreat” and said the “realisation of justice” would require “the establishment of a national and popular government.”
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