Posts Tagged ‘Workers’ Protest’

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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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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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Retirees' Protest in Iran

MEK Network: Retirees, Teachers, Farmers, and Workers Protest Iranian Regime’s Policies as Unrest Grows

Retirees' Protest in Iran

Photo Archive, Retirees’ protest against low pension below the poverty line in Iran

A new sector of Iranian society joined the list of striking and protesting groups on Tuesday, as retirees voiced their dissatisfaction with the mullahs’ regime in the latest round of protests in the uprising that has been ongoing since last December.

Retirees’ Protests

Reports from MEK’s network inside Iran indicate that a crowd of retirees gathered in front of the Program and Budget organization in Tehran on Tuesday morning to protest unfair policies. Protesters from Fars and Kermanshah provinces, among others, are demanding that their salaries be increased above the poverty line to account for inflation, implementation of a coordinated payment system, balanced salaries, and payment of their insurance premiums.

State-run media reported that protesters complained that their salaries cover less than ten days of expenses each month. Regime officials recently acknowledged that retirees have lost two-thirds of their purchasing power in the past few months, though the actual numbers are far lower.

Teachers’ Protests

Earlier this week, teachers across Iran staged their own protests, refusing to go to their classrooms and holding sit-ins. The teachers were protesting low pay, poor benefits, looted trust reserves, the inability to form unions to advocate for their rights, and the failure of the regime to implement agreed-upon plans. Iranian teachers are also angry that their schools are underfunded, leaving their students poorly served. Finally, the teachers expressed outrage that many of their colleagues have been imprisoned for participating in unions or protesting for teachers’ rights.

Students in Karaj, Qom, Qeshm, Ahvaz, and Langroud protested in support of the striking teachers. Students from Allameh University and faculty members from the Social Sciences Department of the University of Tehran protested as well, carrying handmade banners, reading: “Imprisoned teachers must be freed!

“Imprisoned students must be freed!”

“Teacher, worker, student, unity, unity!”

Farmers’ Protests

As protests in other sectors have gained momentum, the farmers of Varzaneh in the province of Isfahan have added their voices to the growing protest movement. The farmers are protesting the loss of their water rights and the corrupt regime policies that have led to the drying of Zayandeh Rood, which has destroyed their ability to sustain their way of life. The farmers have been protesting for several days. They made a banner addressed to regime President Rouhani, which sarcastically read: “Do not do any more to revitalize Zayandeh Rood!”

Workers’ Protests

Workers are also part of the current protests. Hundreds of workers from the municipality of Sushtar gathered in front of the municipality’s building for the second consecutive day to protest. They have not received their salaries or bonuses for several months.

Economic unrest and dissatisfaction with the regime’s corruption and mismanagement have reached a fever pitch in Iran. Protests and strikes grow in strength and number on a daily basis.

Staff Writer

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