International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions - Press Release: The ICFTU today expressed its deep regret and concern over the failure of the Iranian authorities to allow international observers to attend the trial of seven labour activists, which starts on 23 September. Press Release: International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions

Brussels, 22 September 2004: The ICFTU today expressed its deep regret and concern over the failure of the Iranian authorities to allow international observers to attend the trial of seven labour activists, which starts on 23 September (see ICFTU OnLine of 14 September). Defence lawyers for the accused have also expressed their preoccupation over the fact that the trial will take place in the absence of the observers.

Proceedings against Mahmoud Salehi, one of seven labour activists accused of seeking to establish independent trade union organisations arising from their involvement in May Day activities this year, have been scheduled to start on the morning of 9 September, with hearings against the other accused due to take place in the following days. The Iranian Government has not responded to repeated requests to allow representatives from the ICFTU and from Italian, Palestinian and Swedish trade union and human rights organisations to observe the trial.

The ICFTU will closely monitor the proceedings against the labour activists, which constitute a "flagrant breach of Iran's obligations as a member of the International Labour Organisation".

The ICFTU represents 148 million workers in 234 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions

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