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Disturbing view of children sleeping in streets in Iran

Iran Regime Manipulates Poverty Figures to Avoid Paying Higher Wages

Disturbing view of children sleeping in streets in Iran

Poverty has hit Iranian families hard. Seeing poor families living rough in streets in Iran is very common.

The Iranian regime is intentionally deceiving the public by withholding government statistics on poverty levels and inflation across Iran.

Experts have indicated that the rising poverty level and inflation are not being fully recognized by the Iranian officials out of fear of repercussions. The Iranian public has taken to the streets almost daily across Iran to protest the rising cost of living, soaring inflation, and surging unemployment rate.

Part of the issue is that old yardstick used to measure poverty no longer applies. “Previously, the poverty line was below 3 million tomans, but this has changed with regard to the current economic situation in the country; the poverty line has now reached salaries of less than 6 million tomans,” Ruhollah Babaie Saleh, a lawmaker in Iran’s parliament from Buin Zahra, said.

Iran’s Parliament Research Center is still using 3 million tomans for a family of four as the criteria for being in poverty. This masks the true number of Iranians struggling to put food on the table each day.

“We have not seen any of the administrations officially announce the line of poverty,” Faramarz Tofighi, the head of the Salary Committee of the Supreme Center of Islamic Labor Councils, said.

“While relevant officials refuse to provide information on the poverty line, unofficial authorities provide different and sometimes contradictory statistics; we have so much of an information vacuum that data on the suitable food poverty pyramid for Iranian households has still not been specified,” the official said.

Like many other issues, the issue of food poverty has been neglected, Tofighi asserted.

Fear of the Consequences

Tofighi believes that the motives behind withholding the information are due to the inevitable consequences. “The reason is the fear of the consequences of statistical transparency, since announcing the poverty line can have a direct impact on many macroeconomic issues,” he asserted.

“If the poverty level is formally announced,” he continued, “in the next phase they have to work towards the eradication of poverty. They would have to consider the line of poverty while determining wages for employees and workers.”

By keeping the real poverty figures out of the public eye, the regime can get away with paying workers wages below the poverty line. One municipal worker from Nishapur told Iran News Wire that his salary has been cut to half while the prices have skyrocketed.

“Before this, I received 2.7 million tomans since I had two children but in the new contract, my salary was reduced to 1.5 million tomans,” the worker from Razavi Khorasan Province said.

2018 saw the Iranian regime racked by protests across all sectors of Iranian society. This is a better indicator of the dire economic situation most Iranians find themselves in than any official statistic. As has been continually reported by MEK, truck drivers, factory workers, teachers, investors, and farmers have turned out to protest rocking inflation, reduced Iranian purchasing power, and unpaid wages.

In just the last three months, 10 cities have seen protests form their workers over unpaid wages. In some cases, workers hadn’t been paid in 8 months. This is not a sign of economic stability or a low poverty rate.

 

Staff Writer

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Esmail Bakhashi, the worker who was arrested and tortured for protesting against the regime

MEK-Iran: Regime to Press Charges against Labor Activist after Rejecting Torture Claims

Esmail Bakhashi, the worker who was arrested and tortured for protesting against the regime

Esmail Bakhshi, one of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory workers who was arrested and tortured for leading the protest against the regime demanding their unpaid wages.

On Wednesday, Mahmoud Vaezi, regime President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff, announced that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence had rejected claims of torture by labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and planned to press charges against him.

The Regime’s Decision to Press Charges

The state-run ISNA news agency broadcast his announcement: “Today, the Minister of Intelligence provided a report on his investigations into Esmail Bakhshi’s claims (of torture), and it became clear that Bakhshi’s claims are in no way true,” he said.

Vaezi did not provide any details of the MOIS report or describe how Bakhshi’s claims were refuted. A medical examiner did not participate in the investigation.

The Chief of Staff went on: “Last week on the President’s orders, the Minister of Intelligence sent a delegation to Khuzestan province which examined all the relevant areas. Today the Intelligence Minister presented his report to the government. In these investigations, they even talked to Esmail Bakhshi.”

Vaezi characterized Bakhshi’s claims of torture as “propaganda.”

He added, without irony, “The government’s position is to protect citizens’ rights, and the Ministry of Intelligence is also trying very hard to take the path of the rule of law.”

“It has been decided that the Ministry of Intelligence and the system have the right to sue Esmail Bakhshi and for the Judiciary to follow through,” Vaezi continued.

Finally, in reference to Bakshi’s claims of torture, Vaezi said, “A person cannot make some claims and undermine the whole system.”

Torture at the Hands of the Regime

In a January 4th Instagram post, Esmail Bakhshi asked regime Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi why he was tortured “to the brink of death.”

He went on to say that “[i]n the 25 days that I was unjustly detained by the Ministry of Intelligence, I went through such immense pain that I’m still suffering and I have turned to neurological drugs to ease the pain.”

Bakhshi, who was arrested for his participation in the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory workers’ strikes, described psychological torture at the hands of his captors against himself, a female civil rights activist, and a photographer who was arrested for documenting the strikes. He said that the psychological abuse, which included abusive sexual language, was worse than the physical torture.

Bakshi was pressured by the regime to recant his torture claims. He refused.

Regime Chief Justice Larijani claimed that any torture suffered by Bakshi was due to “one interrogator’s alleged misconduct” and “should not be blamed on the whole system.”

Psychological Torture

Civil rights activist Sepideh Qolian was detained along with Bakhshi and has corroborated his claims. In a tweet on Wednesday, she described the Ministry of Intelligence investigation:

“On Monday I was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence again. Two people who called themselves “investigative” agents asked me about what happened during my 30 days of detention and after my explanations said that what Esmail Bakhshi and I were saying about tortures were just delusions,” she wrote, in the first of several tweets.

“They have ended their investigations. I have decided to present my explanations not to the agents but to the people. Speaking of torture is not just a description of a personal pain but rather an account of the systematic violence that security institutions use against prisoners. Denying or reducing it to the mistake of one interrogator is ludicrous and of course very painful,” she continued.

December’s Human Rights Report: Escalating Brutality and Crackdowns

Qolian also corroborated Bakhshi’s claims of torture: “Just thinking about the 30 days of the violent and inhumane treatment still brings tears to my eyes and makes me tremble. During our arrest, Esmail Bakhshi tried to shield me from the agents’ beatings but he was beaten so badly himself, that he passed out.”

Qolian said that she was also a victim of sexual verbal abuse during her imprisonment: “I wish that the only method of torture was the beatings,” she said. “The most painful part was the sexual accusations that they bombarded me within a place where I knew no one would hear even if I cried out.

“On the last day, the interrogator told me that if I say anything when I leave prison they would broadcast the forced confessions that me and Esmail Bakhshi made on the news and that they will turn us into dust,” Qolian wrote. She added that her interrogators shamed her for her clothing and the color of her hair.

After her release, wrote Qolian, a person claiming to be a representative of the Shush Intelligence Agency accused her of “immoral” deeds and made the same false claims to her family.

“Imagine what I’ve been through after my so-called release in a small town with a traditional culture trying to invalidate those claims,” she wrote.

Qolian expressed her support of Bakshi, writing, “I’m willing to testify to the tortures against myself and my brother Esmail Bakhshi in a fair trial.”

Staff Writer

 

 

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The University of Azad Bus crash that resulted in ten students getting killed.

December’s Human Rights Report: Escalating Brutality and Crackdowns

The University of Azad Bus crash that resulted in ten students getting killed.

The University of Azad Bus incident that resulted in ten university students getting killed, and sparked large protests by students against the regime’s mismanagement and carelessness

On Monday, Iran Human Rights Monitor released its December report on human rights conditions in Iran. December was a brutal month in Iran due to the regime’s crackdown on political protests and strikes. In addition, the regime’s crumbling economy manifested on the deaths of several students this month.

Student Deaths

According to state-run media, four young girls died in a fire at an all-girls preschool and elementary school in Zahedan on December 18th. A fourth girl died later in a hospital from her injuries.

Several days later, a bus accident killed ten students from Azad University’s Science and Research Center in Tehran and injured 28 more. The bus swerved off of a mountainous road, crashing into a cement barrier. University students blame the accident on the school’s aging fleet of buses.

Tehran Students Demand Accountability for Bus Crash in Third Day of Protests

Regime officials have been faulted for allowing the unsafe conditions which led to both deadly incidents.

Executions

The Human Rights Monitor Report lists 23 executions during the month of December. Those executions include:

  • 3 public executions in Shiraz;
  • a mass execution of 12 prisoners in Kerman;
  • the hanging execution of a 25-year-old woman. She is the 86th woman to be executed during Rouhani’s presidency.

The Iranian Supreme Court upheld the sentence of a juvenile offender who was sentenced to death at the age of 14.

Freedom of Speech and Assembly

An increase in protest activity in the month of December led to a crackdown on political activism by the Iranian regime. The MEK reported on a number of arrests of protesting steelworkers and factory workers in the province of Ahvaz in December. The workers were striking in protest of months of unpaid wages.

Further Arrests Follow the Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

Security forces arrested at least 41 striking workers from the Ahvaz National Steel Group in a series of midnight raids on the workers’ houses. Workers were violently dragged from their homes, according to Iran’s Free Labor Union (FLU).

35 of the workers were later released, but seven remain in custody in Sheyban prison in Ahvaz.

Ali Nejati, a labor activist for the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers, was violently arrested and beaten for “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian government after participating in the sugarcane factory workers’ strikes. Nejati suffers from a heart condition.

Torture, Inhumane, and Degrading Punishment

The Human Rights Monitor Report listed several instances of cruel punishments by the Iranian regime. Fifteen workers from the Ilam Petrochemical Plant were sentenced to prison terms and lashes for “disrupting public order and peace” after participating in a sit-in outside of the factory. The workers were protesting the factory’s refusal to hire local workers and the layoffs of eleven experienced workers from the plant.

Poet, satirist and Telegram channel administrator Mohammad Hossein Sodagar was publicly flogged after being convicted of “dissemination of false information.” He received 74 lashes.

According to the state-run IRIB news agency, another unnamed man was publicly flogged in Zeberkhan District after being convicted of drug charges.

Inhumane Treatment of Prisoners

According to the Human Rights Monitor report, political activist Vahid Sayadi Nasiri died in prison after a 60-day hunger strike. Nasiri had been imprisoned repeatedly due to his social media posts and charged with “insulting the supreme leader” and “propaganda against the state.”

He began his hunger strike in October in protest of the conditions at the prison and his lack of access to a lawyer. He also said that he was being held along with ordinary criminals, which is a violation of his rights as a political prisoner. Nasiri was taken to the hospital before his death, according to reports.

Denial of Medical Treatment

Political prisoner Saeed Shirzad is being denied needed medical care, according to the Human Rights Monitor Report, and may lose a kidney as a result. Doctors at Rajaee Shahr Prison, where he has been held for the past three years, say that one of his kidneys has shrunk and the other has developed a cyst. His requests for hospitalization have thus far been denied.

Lack of Due Process

The regime’s Appeals Court upheld the conviction against Mohammad Habibi, a member of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) for “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “disturbing public order,” according to the Human Rights Monitor.

Habibi will have to serve at least 7.5 years of his 10.5-year sentence. He was also sentenced to 74 lashes and two years’ abstinence from political and social activities and was prohibited from leaving the country for two years.
Gonabadi Dervish lawyer Mostafa Daneshjoo was sentenced to eight years in prison for “assembly and collusion to act against national security, disturbing public opinion, and spreading propaganda against the system.”

Indefinite solitary confinement

Iran Human Rights Monitor received information that guards at Zahedan Central Prison in Iran’s Baluchistan Province broke the legs of political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi. The guards reportedly threw him down a staircase while torturing him, breaking his legs.

Doctors have said the 65-year-old prisoner will not be able to walk again.

Freedom of Religion and Belief

Baha’is

Yekta Fahandej Sa’di was given an 11 year 9-month sentence for practicing her Baha’i religious beliefs by a preliminary court in the city of Shiraz. She was convicted on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”

Baha’i faith member Ali Ahmadi was arrested for the third time. Ahmadi was charged with “propaganda against the state” for having a holy book in his home. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Kachouie Detention Center in Sari.

Christians

According to the Human Rights Monitor, Christians in Iran faced a severe crackdown around the Christmas holiday. 114 Christians were arrested in December, many of whom had converted from Islam.

According to Open Doors UK, those who were arrested had to report a history of their Christian activities and cut ties with Christian groups.

Persecution of Ethnic Minorities

Arabs

According to the Human Rights Monitor, regime authorities arrested at least twelve Ahwazi Arabs in Khuzestan Province in December. Most of the detainees were not allowed legal representation or allowed to contact their families.

Baluchis

At least three Baluchis were killed while smuggling gas and oil in Sistan-Baluchistan Province. High unemployment in the province has forced many people to smuggle gas in order to get by.

Kurds

According to the Human Rights Monitor report, more than 20 Kurds were arrested in Kurdistan in December. Kurdish human rights activists report that some of those who were arrested for cooperating with Kurdish opposition parties were taken to the Revolutionary Guard’s al-Mahdi barracks detention center.

 

Security forces killed at least five porters through direct fire and wounded another 13.

Gender Discrimination

A bill to increase the marriage age in Iran was rejected in Parliament. The bill would have banned marriages for girls under the age of 13 and for boys under the age of 16. Girls between the ages of 13 and 16 would need parental and judicial consent to marry. The bill fail due to “religious and social deficiencies,” according to Allahyar Malekshahi, Chair of the Judicial and Legal Committee of the regime’s parliament.

Human Rights Attorneys

The Human Rights Monitor report listed a number of arrests and convictions of human rights lawyers in Iran during the month of December.

Human rights lawyers Qasem Sholehsadi and Arash Keykhosravi were sentenced to six years in prison after being arrested at a gathering in front of the regime’s parliament in August, according to the ISNA news agency.

Human rights lawyer Mohammad Najafi, who is currently serving a three-year sentence for exposing torture in Iran’s prisons, was sentenced to an additional 13 years for an additional two charges.

Human rights lawyer Amir Salar Davoudi has been detained by regime authorities since November 20th in Evin Prison and denied access to his attorney. His attorney believes that the charges against him are “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.” He may also be charged with “assembly and collusion to act against national security.”

The MEK and Iranian Opposition have made repeated calls for the international community to take action against the theocratic regime to end its brutal human rights violations. It is clear that these atrocities will not stop until the regime is toppled and Iran is free.

Staff Writer

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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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Iran protests across Iran

Iranian Workers, Credit Clients, Prisoners Protest

Iran protests across Iran

Iran Protests spreading across Iran, people from all sectors of the society are fed up of the repressive regime and its lack of capability to resolve economic crisis.

Last December, a series of protests began in Iran that rapidly spread across the country. Within two weeks, the widespread uprising had spread to more than 140 cities and every province in Iran. Almost a year later, the popular protest movement continues, mobilized by the MEK and its resistance units. In addition to the ongoing strikes by the workers of the Ahvaz Steel factory and the Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill, protests have broken out in Tehran and other cities in Iran.

Ahvaz Steel Workers Gain Support in Their Protests

Protests in Tehran

On Tuesday, contract workers gathered outside of the city council building at South City Park Avenue in Tehran to demand the demand of their savings. The workers say that state officials embezzled their savings and that their concerns have not been addressed by the regime. They chanted:

“One less embezzlement, our problems will be resolved!”
“We deserve to have our money returned!”
“You lying officials, shame on your disgrace!”
“This incompetent council should be ashamed!”
“We don’t want a list of hopes, we want our money!”
“We don’t want promises, we want our money!”

Credit clients of the Bahman Khodro Company rallied in Tehran on Tuesday to protest rising prices. They also protested the company’s failure to deliver vehicles to customers who had already purchased them.

Looted clients of the Caspian Credit Firm protested outside of the regime’s public prosecutor’s office in Tehran on Tuesday. The protesters demanded the return of their savings by the credit firm, which is known to be associated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Protest in Shahr-e Kord

Taxi drivers in Shahr-e Kord in central Iran gathered outside of the Isfahan Province governorate in Shahr-e Kord in protest of regime officials’ refusal to answer their demands.

Hunger Strike in Ardabil Central Prison

Political prisoners in Ward 7 of Ardabil Central Prison began a hunger strike on Sunday. The prisoners are protesting the transfer of a prisoner with Hepatitis to their ward. Authorities moved the contagious prisoner to the ward where political prisoners are held without informing other inmates.

Prison authorities responded to the prisoners’ protest by taking away their telephone privileges. Prison officials have so far ignored requests for information from the inmates’ families.

Inmates at Ardabil Central Prison are housed in warehouse-like facilities without access to adequate hygiene supplies. Conditions in the prison make diseases such as Hepatitis A highly likely to spread amongst the inmate population.

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Day 24 of Ahvaz protest by workers

Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers Protest for 24th Day

Day 24 of Ahvaz protest by workers

The protest in Ahvaz continues, despite the repressive measures the government has taken.

Saturday marked the 22nd day of protests by the Iran National Steel Industrial Group. The workers rallied in front of the Khuzestan governorate in Ahvaz with signs reading, “The workers of Ahvaz are awake and fed up with being exploited!” and “Don’t make the workers the victims of mafia scheme!”

 

The Ahvaz steelworkers went on strike in November in protest of not receiving their wages for several months. The workers were protesting for several months prior to the strike for basic rights, but the regime has yet to respond to any of their demands. Reports from the MEK sources inside Iran indicate that the protests have continued.

The workers blame the regime for their situation, saying that the government’s corruption is responsible for the factors leading to their protests and strikes. At Saturday’s protest, the workers chanted, “You’re taking advantage of Islam and have made the lives of the people a misery!” and “They speak of Hossein but they pride in their thievery!” The chants were in reference to the regime’s perversion of religious edicts and principles in order to rob the Iranian people of their wealth. Imam Hossein refers to the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, a revered symbol for Shiite Muslims.

Iranian Merchants, Steel Workers, and Factory Workers Strike as Part of Growing Nationwide Movement

The protests by the Ahvaz steelworkers are occurring simultaneously to strikes by the workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory in Shush. Both sets of striking workers are in Khuzestan Province, and they have been supportive of each other throughout the protests.

The Ahvaz steelworkers and Haft Tappeh factory workers have gained support from people across Iran, including students, teachers, truck drivers, merchants, and youth. Each of these groups have expressed solidarity with the striking workers. The MEK and the Iranian Opposition have also expressed their support for the workers’ strikes, and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), urged others to join the workers in solidarity with their protests.

As the strikes and protests have gained international attention, the striking workers have also received messages of support from workers’ unions and syndicates from around the world.

The Ahvaz steelworkers have vowed to continue their protests until their demands are met. On Saturday, the workers chanted, “Shame on the government that deceives the people!”

 

Strikes and protests have become common in Iran over the past year. The economy is in free fall, and the regime’s corrupt policies have left Iranian workers no recourse other than to take to the streets to protest. Regime officials have warned that a crisis is brewing due to workers losing their trust in their employers and the government.

Staff Writer

 

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Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Haft-Tappeh,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Bus driver's statement of support for Haft-Tappeh workers

MEK-Iran: Iran’s Bus Drivers Issue a Statement of Support for the Workers of Haft Tappeh

Bus driver's statement of support for Haft-Tappeh workers

Bus Drivers in Tehran, support the workers of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane factory, who have been on a protest for the past month.

The Haft Tappeh workers received a boost when the Greater Tehran Bus Syndicate issued a public statement supporting their strike and condemning the arrest and regime violence against its labor activist, Esmaeel Bakhshi.

The Haft Tappeh workers have been on strike over unpaid wages and the forced privatization of the company for almost eight weeks. Bakhshi was arrested, along with 18 other protestors during the first week of the protest. While most of the other protestors were released shortly afterward, Bakhshi and several others were kept in regime custody.

News later emerged that Bakhshi was rushed to hospital after sustaining serious head injuries in regime custody.

Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Strike for 26th Day, Ignoring False Promises and Intimidation

The Greater Tehran Bus Syndicate echoed the Haft Tappeh workers calls for Bakshi’s immediate release and the closure of any outstanding judicial cases against the Haft Tappeh protestors.

A Climate of Fear

The regime has resorted to its usual threats and oppression in an attempt to end the Haft Tappeh protests. The mayor of Shush, accompanied by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and plainclothes officers approached the protestors to issue threats unless they stopped the protests.

The protesting workers would not be deterred, instead of mounting chants against the corrupt mayor, and renewed chants of “jailed workers must be released”.

The arrests were also designed to create a climate of fear among protestors. However, they backfired. In the face of mounting regime violence, the protestors of Haft Tappeh have only received reinvigorated public support.

Many of Iran’s youth have taken to the streets with the striking workers in a clear display of solidarity.

The Iranian resistance group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), also issued words of support. The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, took to Twitter to call on the Iranian public to stand with the brave workers.

Students from Tehran’s Art University also paid homage to the striking Haft Tappeh workers. Whilst holding their own anti-regime rally, the determined students chanted, “we’re the workers’ children, we will stand by their side”.

Additional Arrests

It wasn’t just Esmaeel Bakhshi that was detained on bogus charges, the former head of the Haft Tappeh sugarcane mill syndicate, Ali Nejati, was abducted from his home by regime forces and taken to an unknown location.

His loved ones are concerned as Mr. Nejati has a heart condition and was reportedly unwell when regime agents raided his property. He reportedly asked to see a warrant from the regime agents, but they were unable to produce a document.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Haft-Tappeh workers continue strike for 26th day.

Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Strike for 26th Day, Ignoring False Promises and Intimidation

Haft-Tappeh workers continue strike for 26th day.

The Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane workers continue their strike against the regime repressive measures and empty promises.

The Haft Tappeh sugar factory workers continued their strike for the 26th consecutive day on Friday, despite escalating threats and intimidation from the repressive Iranian regime. Reports from MEK sources inside Iran indicate that the protesters rallied again in front of the mayor’s office in Shush, chanting, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

Arrest, False Promises, and Protests

Thursday was an active day for the striking Haft Tappeh factory workers. The regime attempted to halt the protests by sending an IRGC official and a member of the regime’s parliament to address the striking workers and attempt to negotiate with the protesters. The officials were accompanied by Basij forces. The regime officials promised to meet the workers’ demands if they called off the strikes. The striking workers were not impressed by the officials’ promises, which have gone unfulfilled before, and interrupted their speeches with chants.

Also on Thursday, security forces raided the home of Ali Nejati and arrested him. Nejati, former president of the Haft Tappeh sugar cane workers union, suffers from heart disease and is currently ill. Upon his arrest, Nejati was badly beaten by security forces. He has since been transferred to an unknown location.

A Labour Activist Involved in the Haft Tappeh Protests is Hospitalized After Suffering Abuse in Regime Custody

A growing group of supporters has joined the striking Haft Tappeh workers in solidarity with their protests. On Thursday, students from Zanjan University in Tehran gathered in support of the demands of the Haft Tappeh workers. They chanted, “We are the children of workers. We will stand by their side. Haft Tapeh, Khuzestan, the role model of the hardworking people!” and “Students, workers, teachers, unity is the key to victory!”

Unpaid Wages and Privatization

The Haft Tappeh factory workers began their strike to protest unpaid wages and the privatization of their company. Workers at the company have not received their salary in several months and have been deprived of basic rights and benefits that are guaranteed under Iranian labor laws.

Haft Tappeh is the largest sugar factory in Iran and supplies thousands of jobs to the people of Khuzestan. The factory was government-owned until the regime allowed it to be privatized in a controversial 2015 deal. Since then, employees say working conditions have deteriorated and the factory’s poor leadership has brought it to the verge of bankruptcy. The striking workers want the owners to be removed and their salaries paid.

A Call to Action

The MEK and the Iranian Opposition has called upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to intervene and demand the release of Ali Nejati and other workers who have been arrested by the Iranian regime.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has called upon on all human rights organizations to stand in solidarity with the workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory and to take action to secure the release of imprisoned Iranian workers.

Staff Writer

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