***UPDATE - 17 February 2016*** All 28 detained Khatoon Abad copper mine workers have now been released on bail.
IndustriALL Global Union welcomes the reported release of 23 of 28 workers arrested last month but urges the government of Iran to set free five more who remain in custody.
The workers were arrested on 16 January 2016 following a series of protests at the state-owned Khatoon Abad Copper Mines, against the termination of 170 contract workers who had been promised permanent positions.
The arrests prompted condemnation both in Iran and internationally. IndustriALL’s statement and letter to the government of Iran has been praised for helping to secure the release of the 23 workers after it was widely disseminated and gained media coverage in the state-owned news agency ILNA.
The lawyer for the five workers that are still in custody is reportedly hopeful they will be freed imminently.
However, many of the workers who have been released still face charges and impending trials.
IndustriALL Global Union’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said:
“We are pleased that most of the workers have now been released but we call on the government of Iran to immediately release the remaining five people in custody. We also urge the authorities to drop all charges against the workers who were exercising their democratic right to protest.”