Posts Tagged ‘Ahvaz’

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The protester that raises her arm as a symbol of resistance, while stepping out of teargas

One Year Later: A Summary of Protests in Iran in 2018

The protester that raises her arm as a symbol of resistance, while stepping out of teargas

The photo symbolizes the December 2017 uprisings in Iran that has not stopped and has continued in forms of protests and strikes across the country.

December 28th marks the one year anniversary of the nationwide uprising that mobilized people from all walks of life to take to the streets in protest of Iran’s theocratic regime. The protests began in Mashhad on December 28, 2017, and spread to over 140 cities in every province in Iran over a two week period.

The initial protests were in response to the economic disaster facing the country. Poverty, corruption, inflation, and rising unemployment drove many Iranians into the streets to protests. But as the uprising grew in strength and numbers, the demonstrators began to protest the regime itself.

Protesters chanted, “Death to the dictator!”

“Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!”

“Khamenei shame on you, let go of your rule!”

One year later, Iran is still the scene of daily protests and demonstrations against the authoritarian regime. The protesters have made it clear that they will not be satisfied until the ruling regime is toppled and democracy is restored to Iran.

The MEK has played a leading role in the protests taking place across Iran. As the movement to topple the mullahs’ regime has grown, the people have sought a viable alternative to the corrupt dictatorship that has destroyed Iran’s economy and environment, and that has oppressed its people for the past four decades. The MEK offers a democratic alternative that will restore freedom to Iran.

Iran News Wire summarized protest activity in Iran over the past year. The following is a summary of their report:

January

Recorded Protests: 643

Daily Average: 21

The uprising that began in December 2017 continued into January, and protests took an anti-regime turn in the month of January. Protesters set fire to Basij bases and tore down images of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

February

Recorded Protests: 596

Daily Average: 21

March

Recorded Protests: 422

Daily Average: 14

April

Recorded Protests: 452

Daily Average: 15

May

Recorded Protests: 1,093

Daily Average: 35

June

Recorded Protests: 475

Daily Protests: 16

 

In June, bazaar merchants in Tehran launched a large-scale strike in protest of the failing economy and rising prices. Protesters in Khoramshahr took to the streets to protest water scarcity.

Protests quickly turned to calls for regime change, with chants of “Death to the Dictator!”, “Death to Rouhani!”, “Death to Khamenei!”, and “Our enemy is right here, they lie when they say it’s the U.S.!”

Women played a key role during the protests in Khorramshahr and in Khuzestan in southwest Iran.

July

Recorded Protests and Strikes: 970 in cities and regions

Daily Average: 31

August

Recorded Protests: 133

Daily Average: 20

September

Recorded Protests: 1,367 in 293 cities, villages and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 46

Iran’s truck drivers began their nationwide organized strike in September.

October

Recorded Protests: 1,533 in 323 cities, villages, and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 49

October saw the most protest activity in Iran in 2018. Truck drivers, teachers, and bazaar merchants all went on strike in October.

November

Recorded Protests: 911 in 171 cities, villages, and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 30

Iranian truck drivers went on another round of strikes in November, as did Iran’s teachers.

The workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory workers in Shush and the Iran National Steel Group workers in Ahvaz also began striking in protest of months of unpaid wages. Their weeks-long strikes would attract international attention.

Head of Iranian Regime’s Judiciary Threatens Striking Workers

December

Recorded Protests: 273 as of December 21st

Daily Average: 9

Workers, credit union clients, retirees, students, and prisoners all protesters during the month of December.

The regime arrested a number of striking Ahvaz steelworkers and Haft Tappeh factory workers in an escalation of their previous attempts to suppress the strikes. Regime agents carried out a series of midnight raids on the houses of striking workers and arrested dozens of workers. Reports indicate that labor activist Esmail Bakhshi was tortured in prison.

Iranian truck drivers started their fifth round of strikes this month as well. Those numbers are not included in the report, which will be updated by Iran News Wire in January.

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More arrest of the protesting Ahvaz steel workers

Further Arrests Follow the Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

More arrest of the protesting Ahvaz steel workers

More arrests of Ahvaz steelworkers by the Iranian regime’s repressive forces, in a bid to intimidate the workers to end their strike.

Iranian agents carried out raids on the homes of steelworkers in Ahvaz for the second consecutive night. Dozens of workers that were arrested on Sunday night over their involvement in recent protests remain in custody. Reports from MEK sources indicate that following the raids on Monday night, several more employees of the Iranian National Steel Industries Group (INSIG) are have been detained.

The raids were part of a coordinated regime response to the Ahvaz steelworkers strike which has raged unabated for the last 39 days. What began as a strike over poor working conditions and regime corruption, has evolved into a stand-off as protestors refuse to disperse until the last steelworker has been freed from regime custody.

Instead of negotiation, the regime has adopted an increasingly repressive and violent approach to the strikes.

Public Support

In recent weeks, the striking steelworkers of Ahvaz have received the support of the Iranian people. In a student protest ahead of Iran’s national student day earlier this month, the demonstrators chanted slogans in solidarity with the striking steelworkers in Ahvaz.

On Tuesday morning, pensioners protesting outside the Parliament building in Tehran also voiced their support for the striking steelworkers. They engaged in chants of, “free the steelworkers” and “imprisoned workers must be freed”.

Out of Ideas

The most recent crackdown and midnight raids carried out at protestors’ homes speak volumes about the regime’s inability to deal with the rising tide of discontent that is sweeping across Iran.

The clerical regime has carved out a position at the top through violence and oppression. As a result, it lacks mechanisms to engage with the population and meet their demands. Its only response is further violence and further suppression.

While this may buy some time, it is not tenable in the long-term. The Iranian resistance and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) is growing more popular and stronger by the day. The Iranian public and its international allies increasingly view it as the only democratic alternative to the mullahs’ rule of terror.

The MEK and the Iranian resistance have called on international organizations, NGOs, labor groups and trade unions from around the world to stand with the workers of Ahvaz, as the Iranian public is. They have also urged Iranian citizens, in particular, the country’s youth and students to do what they can to support the striking workers and call on the regime to free those detained in regime custody.

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Some of the steelworkers who were arrested by the Iranian regime repressive forces in an over night raid to their houses.

Regime Conducts Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

Some of the steelworkers who were arrested by the Iranian regime repressive forces in an over night raid to their houses.

The photos published on the Social Media outlets show the pictures of some of the leading steelworkers’ activists who have been arrested and imprisoned by the regime in order to intimidate the workers and stop their protests.

On Monday, regime security forces conducted the second consecutive night of raids in Ahvaz. 41 workers and representatives of the Iran National Steel Group were arrested in the late night raids on Sunday, and reports from the MEK network inside Iran indicate that more workers were arrested on Monday night.

Residents reported that security forces violently attacked their houses in the middle of the night. Many Ahvaz steelworkers have opted to sleep on the streets rather than face arrest at the hands of the regime.

The 41 workers who were arrested on Sunday night have been transferred to Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz, according to Iran Workers Free Union.

The Free Union held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss their plan of action. The union decided not to engage in further negotiations with officials until all of the workers were released from custody.

The Ahvaz steelworkers are on the 40th day of their strike, which has continued despite threats and intimidation from the regime. The Steelworkers say that they will strike until all of their colleagues have been released from prison.

Support for the Ahvaz Steelworkers

The detained steelworkers have gained support from people across Iran. In Tehran, hundreds of pensioners rallied outside of the regime’s Parliament on Tuesday. The protesters expressed their support for the striking workers by chanting: “From Ahvaz to Tehran, workers are in jails!”

“Free the steelworkers!”

“Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

“The enemy is here, they lie to us that it’s America!”

The Tehran Vahed Bus Syndicate also wrote a statement condemning the arrests.

The arrested workers also received words of support from the U.S. Department of State. Robert J. Palladino, the Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department, tweeted in support of the steelworkers on the Department’s Farsi Twitter page. The same tweet was also translated into English and posted on Twitter.

“Yesterday, Iran’s regime arrested steelworkers who simply asked to get paid for their work. Sadly, this is how the regime has always mistreated the Iranian people. The U.S. supports their rightful demands. Iranians deserve to live in peace and dignity.”

A Call to Action

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance call upon the Iranian people, particularly workers, young people, and students, to stand in solidarity with the striking steelworkers of Ahvaz and to protest their unjust arrest. It further calls upon international human rights groups and labor unions to call for the immediate release of the arrested workers

Detained Haft Tappeh Workers

Meanwhile, MEK sources in Khuzestan report that

Esmail Bakhshi, the labor representative of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory who was recently released from custody, has been placed under house arrest.

Ali Nejati, the former head of the Haft Tappeh Union, is still in detention. Nejati suffers from a heart condition. He was violently arrested in a raid on his home on November 29th.

Despite its ratification of the UN’s International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and membership in the International Labor Organization, Iran does not allow its citizens to form labor unions. Citizens can receive harsh prison sentences or flog for organizing labor.

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The 38th day of protest by SteelWorkers in Ahvaz

Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers Continue Their Strike Despite Arrests of Dozens of Workers

The 38th day of protest by SteelWorkers in Ahvaz

The Iranian regime has cracked down on SteelWorkers by raiding the workers’ houses at night and arresting the leaders, despite, the protest continues into its 38th day.

Dozens of workers, protesters, and representatives of the Ahvaz Steel Factory have been arrested since midnight on Sunday, and arrests were ongoing as of Monday. So far, the names of 31 detainees have been published.

The arrests are part of an effort to suppress the steelworkers’ protests, which reached its 39th day on Tuesday. Repressive forces—including Ministry of Intelligence agents, riot police, and Revolutionary Guards—were positioned in strategic locations in Ahvaz in an attempt to prevent the steelworkers from continuing their protests.

The protesters persisted despite these measures, even though they were surrounded by suppressive forces in some areas. The workers vowed to continue to protest until their demands were met and their colleagues were freed. The workers chanted, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

The workers of the Ahvaz steel factory went on strike 39 days ago because they had not received their wages for several months. They have continued their strikes and protests despite continuous threats and acts of intimidation from the regime.

Workers from cities across Iran expressed solidarity with the striking steelworkers of Ahvaz, calling for the immediate release of the arrested workers. Among the workers expressing support were the Tehran Bus Company workers’ syndicate and truck drivers in various parts of Iran. Iran’s truck drivers have gone on strike four times this year because of low pay, rising fees, and hazardous conditions.

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance applauds the workers of Ahvaz for their persistence and strength and calls upon the workers, young people, and students of Iran, particularly those in Ahvaz and Khuzestan, to support the steelworkers of Ahvaz in their strike.

The MEK further calls upon international human rights organizations and workers’ rights advocates, unions, and syndicates to call for the release of the arrested workers, protesters, and representatives and to support the steelworkers in their protests.

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance say that the regime’s arrests of the protesting steelworkers are another sign of the mullahs’ frustration with the ongoing nationwide workers’ strikes.

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32nd day of protest by Ahvaz Workers

Ahvaz Steel Workers Forced to Sell Their Homes

32nd day of protest by Ahvaz Workers

Ahvaz SteeWorkers enter their 32nd day of protests-December 12, 2018

Reports from the MEK sources inside Iran indicate that workers from the Ahvaz National Steel Industrial Group reached the 32nd day of their strike on Tuesday. The steelworkers, who are striking in protest of months of unpaid wages, are struggling financially, and many of them have been forced to sell their homes in order to make ends meet.

The state-run ILNA news agency reported that the steelworkers of the Ahvaz National Steel Industrial Group faced financial hardships even before the strikes due to their wages not being paid consistently or on time.

The steelworkers have also demanded that their employers establish all production lines and supply necessary equipment and parts. In addition, they are asking that the factory he returned to government control. The steelworkers have seen conditions at the factory worsen under the direction of private investors, most of whom are connected to the regime, and who operate without any oversight.

The Ahvaz Steel factory is located in Khuzestan Province, where most workers have large families, due to the dominant culture in the region. Iran is in the midst of an economic crisis, which has caused inflation and the price of goods to skyrocket.

Unpaid wages of Ahvaz steel factory workers forces them to sell homes

Most of the steelworkers do not have homes to sell. They can not pay for basic needs, such as rent, utilities, medical bills, and education expenses for their children

According to ILNA, these factors, combined with the workers’ unstable wages, have driven the steelworkers of Ahvaz and their families out of their homes.

Steel Workers Strike for the 32nd Day

On Tuesday, the workers gathered in front of the Khuzestan Province governorate, holding banners which read, “Workers are awake and tired of being exploited!”

The Steelworkers also protested in front of the Jazayeri mosque. The demonstrators wore grave shrouds, which symbolizes their commitment to stand up for their cause no matter the cost.

Protesters in Iran have begun to wear grave shrouds at anti-regime protests as the workers’ strikes and protests have gained momentum. Also Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian opposition leader has urged the people of Ahvaz and particularly the youth to join the workers in unity.

The MEK and the Iranian Opposition supports these protests and calls upon the Iranian people to stand with the striking workers in solidarity.

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Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi protesters who were arrested during their uprisings in March, 2018, are still detained without trial

On Friday, May 18th, NCRI-Iran.org reported on the plight of protesters in Ahvaz. Hundreds of Ahvazi Arabs are still in detention a month after mass arrests in Khuzestan province in Iran. The protesters are being held without trial, and their future is uncertain.

 

Protests broke out in Ahvaz last month after a television program on state-controlled media led ethnic Arabs to believe they would be expelled from the region. People protested the program with weeklong demonstrations and rallies in Ahvaz and across Khuzestan province. The regime responded to these protests with mass arrests. Human rights activists estimated the number of people arrested at 500, though no official numbers have been released. The regime’s Ahvaz MP did confirm that arrests were made, but he estimated that only 150 were detained. Many of the families of detainees have gathered in front of the prison where their children are held and in front of government offices to protest their detention without trial.

 

Protests have continued to take place since the uprising that began at the end of last year, despite the regime’s attempt to suppress dissent. The MEK had a large role in organizing the uprising, and the people responded with a cry for regime change. Despite mass arrests, protests continue to occur across Iran.

 

According to the NCRI report, among those arrested during the protests was Reza, a young taxi driver who did not take part in the protests. Reza described his arrest:

 

“I was just back from Friday market and wanted to change my car’s oil. I left the car in an auto repair shop and then went to buy the oil when I noticed people gathering on the street. Security forces were chasing a number of young people who were just passing by while I was just watching. Suddenly I felt pressure and a heavy blow that caused me to fall down to the ground. I was then circled by security forces who were beating me and forced me into a police van, without allowing me to say a word.”

 

Reza said he was shocked and could not resist.
“I was blindfolded and taken aboard a bus. The bus didn’t move for about an hour, waiting to be filled with other detainees.”

 

Reza was taken to an unknown detention center with 200 other people, where they were held in appalling conditions until the next day. He said that there was no room to sit down and the center had a foul smell.

 

The following day, he and the other detainees were transferred to Ahvaz Shayban Prison, where they were given inadequate food. More detainees arrived daily. Reza was not a part of the protest and is not politically active. Despite this, [he] was repeatedly interrogated in the prison while being beaten each time, uselessly telling them that [he] was mistakenly arrested.”

 

The taxi driver was finally released on a 110-million-toman bail after 22 days and taken home by his family.

 

Those who dared to seek answers about the detainees were arrested as well. Saeed Fakhernasab, the former head and deputy head of Shadegan and Ahvaz district one education departments and prominent Ahvazi civil rights activist, was arrested after meeting with members of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, MPs, and high-ranking officials of the regime in an attempt to have the Ahvaz protesters released. He was finally released on a 500-million-toman bail after he had to be hospitalized. He remains on bail until his sentencing.

 

An Ahvazi civil rights activist familiar with the protesters’ situation said that that arrested fall into three groups: people who took part in the protests, people arrested at home or at work, and activists arrested after the protests. He added, “We’ve been informed that random arrests have taken place to a great extent.”

 

The activist went on to say that many of those arrested, like the taxi driver,  had not participated in the protests. Some of the detainees were arrested by high-ranking officials hoping to settle scores with activists.

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Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship-Credit to maryam-rajavi.com

 Maryam Rajavi, leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), praised the resolve of the Iranian people for the sustained protests and strikes in major cities across Iran. Strikes have continued to rage in Kazeroun for the last seven days. The farmer’s protests in Isfahan are also still going strong two months into their struggle. Protests in Ahvaz and Khuzistan have also sprung up in recent weeks.

Rajavi reaped praise from those protesting in Kazeroun, stating “hail to the people of Kazeroun who have a great history of supporting the great leader of Iran’s freedom movement, Dr. Mohammad Mossaddeq.” After Kazeroun citizens were arbitrarily butchered by the regime in 1988, many of the city’s citizens joined the MEK and the resistance movement to oppose the mullah’s tyrannical regime.

Maryam Rajavi hailed those exercising civil disobedience in Isfahan, Kazeroun, and Ahvaz, praising those who disrupted the mullah’s Friday prayers. Those in Baneh and Piranshahr who went on strike and closed their businesses also received Maryam Rajavi’s blessings.

She spoke of the plight of Iran’s Kurdish minority, forced into back-breaking work as porters for the regime. Rajavi described how they often face water shortages, are denied their rightful earnings, and endure routine discrimination at the hands of the oppressive regime. All those in Iran suffer at the hands of Rouhani, but the minorities of the Kurdish, Arab and Baluchi people face “double oppression”, according to Rajavi.

The message from the leader of the MEK was clear; keep up the good work and disrupt the mullah’s regime wherever possible. Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the Iranian Resistance had previously sent a message to the Iranian people. He said, “it is an urgent patriotic duty to keep alight the beacon of protests at any opportunity, any time and any place.”

The Iranian population must show their solidarity with those who are risking their freedom and lives to protest the oppressive regime. Only through continued civil disobedience and disruption will the full weight of the Iranian population be felt by the ruling mullahs.

The regime is creaking under the pressure of sustained civil protest. It is intensifying its reign of terror and violence, executing political prisoners at an alarming rate, and arresting brave Iranian protestors across Kazeroun in scores. Rouhani and the mullahs are scrambling to maintain their grip on the situation.

This will only add fuel to the fire. It will inspire the Iranian people to insist on the freedom of their compatriots. “Declare solidarity with the arisen people of the Iranian provinces” is Maryam Rajavi’s message to Iran. Keep the flame of protest alive.

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