Truck Drivers Begin Strikes in Mashhad and Isfahan

Posted on: August 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A number of truck drivers have begun strikes in Iran’s second and third largest cities, Mashhad and Isfahan.

on August 25th, truck drivers who work for a department of the Mashhad municipality responsible for collecting dust and construction materials gathered in front of the department to make their demands. A number of truck drivers in the central city of Isfahan also stopped work and gathered on Shapur Street.

Lack of attention to their demands by authorities, severe livelihood problems, low wages and high repair costs are among the reasons behind the strikes.

Videos published on social media show truck drivers also striking in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. HRANA is in the process of confirming these reports.

HRANA had previously reported on the truck drivers’ strikes in the month of June and the reaction of authorities.

Protests by Steel and Sugarcane Workers Continue in Southwestern Iran

Posted on: August 26th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Worker protests continued to rock the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan on August 25. Workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in the provincial center of Ahvaz and those of the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA) organized protest gatherings to push their demands.

HTSA workers started the eighth consecutive day of protests by gathering on the factory grounds, HRANA reported.

Speaking on the meeting that HTSA union and representatives had with authorities of Shush county and Khuzestan province, Esmayil Bakhshi, a representative of the workers, said: “I feel sorry for the Provincial Governor who sees us as the enemy. He wasn’t even willing to leave his office to see why the workers are on strike. When we ask for an independent workers’ council to be formed it is so that workers’ direct supervision on state managers would prevent such people from becoming managers and disrespecting workers.”

Nonpayment of wages, the outsourcing of some HTSA departments and other changes in the factory are the major issues expressed by the workers.

HRANA had previously reported on the HTSA strikes.

Protest March of Ahvaz Steelworkers

On August 25th, a group of INSIG workers in Ahvaz marched in front of the provincial governor’s office in the city and asked for their back wages to be paid and for the right to form a workers council.

The workers organized a protest march and chanted slogans including “Our country is full of thieves; nowhere in the world is like this”.

“INSIG wages and benefits have not been paid from March to July and our efforts to follow up have been useless,” one of the workers told the state-run news agency, IRNA. “INSIG has currently zero production. We have been promised that raw material necessary for production will be supplied before the end of the year [Persian calendar year, ending on March 21, 2019.] but there is no hope and no positive perspective. The authorities are not accepting responsibility for paying wages and sending the workers back to work.”

INSIG consists of a range of companies and employs about 4,000 workers who have not been paid for a few months. Their protests began on Saturday, August 18th asking for payment of four months of wages and the supplying of raw material.

Steel and Sugarcane Workers Organize Protests in Southwestern Iran

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Worker groups from two major industries in the southwestern province of Khuzestan organized protests on Monday, August 12th outside the office of the local manager of Bank Melli.

Bank Melli is the current owner of the industrial complex housing the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) of Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA). Workers from these companies gathered to demand back pay and the right to form independent councils.

August 12th marked the third consecutive day of protests, which workers said they will continue until the company meets their demands.

INSIG’s CEO Kasra Ghafoori voiced to the media his company’s response to the crisis. “I sympathize with the INSIG workers,” he told Iran Labour News Agency (ILNA). “It’s hard to live when you haven’t been paid for four months, but INSIG’s raw materials will be provided by next week.”

INSIG is among a group of companies founded by Amir Mansoor-Aria’s Ahvaz-based investment group. After Mansoor-Aria was displaced from management due to criminal convictions, the Iranian Judiciary assumed control of the company until its recent privatization.

All told, INSIG companies employ about 4,000 workers, none of which have been paid in the past few months. Worker frustrations culminated in a new wave of protests on Saturday, August 18th.

Update:

The workers of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA) continued to strike in front of factory management offices on the fourth day of consecutive protests.

Employees across company sections joined in a chant of “You’re a disgrace, Ghafari”, asking for dismissal of the sector’s manager.

The workers demanded the company resolve insurance payments, provide 1,500-day contracts for workers, and communicate transparently on the recent outsourcing of one of HTSA’s sections and the company’s uncertain future.

One of the workers stated that the company has yet to deliver on their promises to secure worker contracts and benefits.

HRANA reported that INSIG and HTSA protests were still active as of Monday, August 20th.

Update: Wednesday August 22, 2018

For the fifth day in a row, workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA) gathered in protest in front of the company’s security department.

Payment of delayed wages and stopping the company’s breaking up and privatization are among the demands made by the workers during this protest. The workers are also demanding “intervention by high-ranking provincial authorities on the question of the company’s management,” HTSA’s trade union has said.

Esmayil Bakhshi, the workers’ representative, gave a speech in today’s gathering and spoke of workers that have self-immolated under the pressure of authorities.

“To solve this problem of the workers, they were sent to different departments for a while,” Bakhshi said. “but it turned out that they wanted to fire them. After they chose self-immolation, instead of solving their problems, they asked them why did they want to burn themselves and ruin the company’s reputation?”

“The security department managers have lost or changed their real mission for years now,” Bakhshi said. “The real mission of this department should be to create a safe and secure space for workers for them to do their work in utmost security. For years, however, they’ve tried their best to disrupt the security of workers.”

The worker representative then spoke about the new manager of the security department who has a past in the police force.

“If you are here to follow that same mission, we will support you,” he said. “But you have been a police commander before and are now a manager. This is a working-class environment, not a military barracks. If you stand with workers, we will stand with you. If you stand against workers, we will stand up to you. So, do your real job!”

Esmayil Bakhshi addressed the employers at the end of his speech: “We are ready for negotiations. The only solution is for you to talk to us so that we can solve the problems.”

The workers of HTSA have repeatedly organized strikes and gatherings to protest the contract conditions, worker expulsions, wage delays and privatization of the company assets.

Update: Thursday, August 23, 2018

On Thursday, August 23rd, workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA) in southwestern Iran started the sixth day of their strike. A number of authorities, including the agriculture minister, came to visit the workers and follow up on their grievances.

In addition to the Minister of Agriculture, the Governor General of the Khuzestan province and a representative of the Shush County governor’s office met with the workers.

Before the meeting, HTSA workers had addressed an open letter to the authorities.

“The community of Haft Tape workers will stand behind their valiant representatives, absolutely and to the last breath. If they are met with any harm or accusation, all workers of this company will back their representatives and will not stop supporting them under any circumstances,” the letter said.

“Our gatherings have been aimed at demanding our rights and asking for help from the respected authorities. Our demands from the beginning have been aimed at driving out the capitalists from this region and bringing the company back into public ownership. We have been working in a very calm environment, away from threats, violence and anti-government slogans. It is now the turn of the respected authorities of the county, the province and the country to give what is the right of the devout and hardworking workers of this land and to put an end to years of injustice that has brought suffering to the workers, their families and the people of this region,” the letter continued.

“We will follow up on the grievances of the retired workers and payment of their pensions,” Agriculture Minister Mahmood Hojatti said.

Labor Activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh Detained

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Former political prisoner and labor activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was arrested by security forces around Kermanshah (western Iran) and taken to an unknown location on Friday, August 17, 2018.

According to a source close to Mr Ebrahimzadeh’s family, he was detained while en route to assist survivors of the Kermanshah earthquake that claimed thousands of casualties in November 2017.

After several days of persistent inquiry, his family learned of his detention, but remain in suspense as to the reason for his arrest.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, born in 1977 in Oshnavieh (West Azerbaijan province), has been detained several times since 2008. On June 12, 2010, he was arrested and interrogated in solitary confinement for four months, and later transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison. At the conclusion of a brief trial without a defense lawyer, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced Mr Ebrahimzadeh to twenty years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to 5 years in an appeals court.

Over the course of his five-year sentence in Evin Prison, Ebrahimzadeh endured multiple beatings and transfers to solitary confinement. His detention at Evin coincided with the 2014 incident known as “Black Thursday” in which plainclothes agents and Evin Prison staff coordinated a group assault on Ward 350 inmates. Later, he was illegally exiled to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he was repeatedly harassed and shifted among wards.

Near the end of his five-year sentence, Ebrahimzadeh faced new charges of anti-regime collusion and propaganda, allegedly committed while he was in prison. He contested the charges in the Tehran Appeals Court. On July 31, 2016, the new sentence of nine and a half years imprisonment was first reduced to seven years and ten months, and then to 15 days with a fine of approximately $100 USD (4,500,000 Rials).

Authorities had also accused Mr Ebrahimzadeh of “violating a detention order” and “using satellite equipment and game cards” during his time in Evin.

More recently, on September 24, 2017, Ebrahimzadeh was released from a ten-day detainment after being arrested along with several others in front of Rajai Shahr Prison, where they were rallying in a demonstration of solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike.

Council for Coordination of Teaching Syndicates in Uproar over Arrest of Mohammad Habibi

Posted on: August 10th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The Council for Coordination of Teaching Syndicates (The Council here forth) has issued a statement protesting the sentence imposed on Mohammad Habibi, a teacher’s union activist. The Council has cited the verdict as an example on which to evaluate judicial fairness in Iran. The Council has also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Habibi, adding: “The judge’s ulterior motive in this verdict is to send a warning to society: if you pursue justice, you will face prison and lashings.”

The full text of the statement has been translated to English by HRANA:

Ninety days have passed since the unlawful and violent arrest of Mr Mohammad Habibi, a member of the board of directors of the Teachers’ Union Association of the Province of Tehran. The arrest has appalled teachers and society at large, and the move is widely condemned by conscientious people after another.

Each element of Mr Habibi’s story, from the way he was arrested on May 10th to the legal process he went through and location in which he was detained, is evidence of an extrajudicial will to impose on this jailed teacher an unlawful ordeal. The denial of his bail, as well as the request from the IRGC Intelligence unit to unlawfully transfer him to Tehran, demonstrate a lack of due process and an infringement on the rights of the accused. Sadly, his story doesn’t end there. Mr Habibi was also denied urgently necessary medical attention. Coupled with the deplorable conditions of the Great Tehran Penitentiary, such negligence could end in tragedy if the status quo persists.

Based on reliable information obtained by the Council, the family of Mr Habibi has stopped at nothing to fight for his rights. They have pursued his case by writing letters and visiting with officials in person. Thanks to their efforts, it can be said with certainty that authorities on the highest level are aware of the appalling situation Mr Mohammad Habibi is in. They know of the distress that Mr Habibi’s ordeal has inflicted on the Iranian teaching community. Nevertheless, in an unprecedented and unjust verdict from Judge Ahmadizadeh who presides over Branch 26 of the [Tehran] Revolutionary Court, Habibi was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison, two years’ ban on his social activities, a two-year travel ban, and to crack down even harder, 74 lashings.

It is as if the judge intended with his verdict to put society on guard, sending the message that if you pursue justice, you will face prison and lashings. It is as if the judge sought to say to those oppressed, frustrated, and fed-up with corruption and rising prices, that authorities won’t lay a hand on thieves or embezzlers, and seek only to imprison people, especially teachers, who fight for freedom and justice.

In our view, these due process violations are so stark that an investigation into Mohammad Habibi’s ordeal could provide a clear measure of the judiciary’s integrity.

Therefore, we ask independent jurists and legal experts to investigate this matter so that the Judiciary might respond to the teachers’ inquiries and concerns:

We would like to know on what basis the agents [who came to arrest Mr Habibi] put a gun to his head while handcuffing him?

We would like to know what or who allowed plainclothes agents to drag Mohammad Habibi on the pavement after beating him?

We would like to know on what basis and how the investigators first set the bail, only to deny it later and send the case to the court?

We would like to know why the judge denied the bail and returned Mr Habibi to the Great Tehran Penitentiary?

We would like to know why Mohammad Habibi was not transferred outside of the prison for medical attention, despite the coroner’s confirmation that he needed care?

These are the unanswered questions that have preoccupied most of our minds.

Our last question is, why and how can a judge increase a punishment already imposed? The maximum penalty for collusion is five years in prison; for propaganda against the regime, one year; and one year for disturbing the public peace. The judge did not adhere to these maximums, and instead extended Habibi’s prison sentence from one and a half to ten and a half years, even though the maximum punishment for all of the charges against him could only amount to seven and a half years.

How odd a degree of hostility and rancor for those who are responsible for the education of our children.

The Council adamantly condemns the sentence of Mr Habibi and demands his immediate release until his case is heard by an appeals court. The teaching community does not abide charges against jailed activists and requests exoneration of Mr Habibi by an appeals court. We believe that the imprisonment of union activists is the epitome of treating civic activities as security threats. In a political climate like this one, with teachers confined to prison, it is futile to speak of solving education problems. Consequently, union activists, with their imprisoned colleagues in mind, will start this school year in a new, different way.

The Council for Coordination of Teaching Syndicates
August 7, 2018

****************************************

In mid-July, a group of teachers met with the Minister of Education’s advisor in Union Affairs and delivered a letter in defense of Mohammad Habibi. In the letter, the signatories expressed concerns about Mr Habibi’s health and asked for his transfer to Evin Prison.

In June, a letter signed by 6,500 teachers and civil activists demanding the release of Mr Habibi was delivered to the Iranian Parliament.

On May 10, 2018, the Council urged teachers to assemble in protest. In Tehran, several of those who responded to the call were arrested and transferred to Evin Prison, and all but Mr Habibi were released on bail three days later.

Mohammad Habibi was previously arrested and jailed for 44 days in March 2018 and was released on a bail of approximately $50,000 USD.

Summary Report: Recent Arrests, Imprisonment and Executions

Posted on: August 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A summary report on the most recent news of arrests, imprisonment, and executions in Iran from the the last week of July 2018 to August 7, 2018.

Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi Released from Tabriz Prison

Iraj Mohammadi (left) and Mohammad Amin Agoushi (right)

Political prisoners Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi were released from Tabriz Prison on Sunday, August 5, 2018, following the end of their judicial sentence. In September 2007, Mr Mohammadi and Mr Amin Agoushi were sentenced to a 10-year prison exile term each on the charge of “Acting against national security”.

Last week, HRANA reported on a hunger strike launched by Iraj Mohammadi in objection to the Iranian authorities preventing his release from prison despite reaching the end of his conviction.

Iranian authorities arrested Mohammad Amin Agoushi on September 23, 2007, on the charges of “Espionage” and “Cooperation with Iraqi Kurdistan”. In May 2008, branch 2 of the military court in Urmia charged him with “Moharebeh” (enmity against God) and transferred him to Urmia’s central prison. Four months later, Judge Hafiz Ghaffari sentenced him to death by a firing squad.

In 2010 the retrial request was approved and the case was sent to branch 31 of Iran’s Supreme Court where the sentence was reduced to ten years in prison exile. Iraj Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Agoushi were transferred to Tabriz Prison from Zahedan in March.

In February 2017 Iraj Mohammadi explained some points in an open letter about rejecting his request for amnesty. Mr Mohammadi emphasized that the mentioned reasons were false, stating that he suffered from nervous and mental illnesses as a result of being held in solitary confinement for eight months and tortured at the onset of his arrest.

Sunni Prisoner Yasser Sharafipour Suffers from Medical Neglect

On Friday, August 3, 2018, the chest, abdomen and back of Yaser Sharafipoor, a Sunni prisoner in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison, was burned with hot water.

An informed source told HRANA: “The burn was so severe that he had difficulty breathing. Prison authorities transferred him to the clinic but they only used burn ointment and returned him to the ward. When the prisoner protested, they sent him to the hospital with handcuffs and shackles. Despite the recommendation of the doctors to hospitalize him, he was returned to the prison.

Arraignment of Kamal Abdollahi in Urmia Court

Kamal Abdollahi, a citizen from Piranshahr who is held in Urmia’s central prison, was charged with “Acting against national security” by branch 6 of the Urmia Revolutionary Court on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. No information was given to Mr Abdollahi regarding the reason for the charge.

Iranian authorities arrested Mr Abdollahi on May 5, 2018, and held him for three months in a detention center operated by the Ministry of Intelligence in Urmia.

Five members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Arrested

On the morning of August 5, 2018, drivers of the United Bus Company of Tehran went to the company’s offices to track their housing situation in connection with issues such as the lack of delivery of housing to members despite paying all the agreed amounts in the contract. When they arrived, they were not allowed to enter, which sparked a protest that was cracked down by police forces. During the crackdown, five members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested. The individuals are Hassan Saeedi, Davood Razavi, Atta Babakhani, Ali Ghorbanian and an unidentified person.

A close source tells HRANA: “Their detention was a result of a request by Mr Sanandaji, the President of the company. Members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company gathered in front of branch 4 of Tehran’s security offices to support their detained colleagues until their release.”

The five workers were reportedly released hours after they were detained.

Intelligence Agents Arrest Young Man from Zarabad

According to HRANA’s sources and the Baloch Activists Campaign, a 35-year-old man by the name of Abdul Latif Miran Zehi was arrested by Intelligence agents on August 2, 2018, and transferred to Chabahar Prison.

An informed source said: “Abdul Latif Miran Zehi was getting his hair cut at a salon in Zarabad when he was arrested, handcuffed and taken by Intelligence agents who did not present an arrest warrant.”

No information about the reason for his arrest is available at this time and Mr Miran Zehi’s family is unaware of his condition following his arrest.

On May 25, 2018, a 23-year-old man by the name of Abdul Ghani Miran Zehi was arrested by Intelligence agents.

Gonabadi Dervish Maryam Farsiyabi Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

According to close sources and the Sufi news website Majzooban-e Noor, Maryam Farsiyabi, a Gonabadi Dervish, who is detained in Charchak Prison in Varamin, was sentenced to six months in prison and a two-year travel ban by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Ms Farsiyabi was arrested on February 20, 2018, during the “Golestan 7th Avenue Event” which she attended with her husband, Mohammad Karimayee, and hundreds of other Gonabadi Dervishes.

Ms Farsiyabi was beaten by Iranian authorities to the point that she suffered from a fracture to her hand and her jaw was dislocated.

Mr Karimayee was recently sentenced to seven years in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

Maryam Farsiyabi, along with other women Dervish prisoners, launched a hunger strike on June 15, 2018, in protest of a violent attack by the guards. They ended their hunger strike on June 30, 2018.

Mohammad Mozaffari lashed 74 times in Evin Prison

The 74 lashings sentence for Mohammad Mozaffari was reportedly carried out in Evin Prison on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Mr Mozaffari is a political activist who was sentenced to two years in prison, 74 lashes and a 20,000,000 Rial [approximately $200 USD] fine on the charge of “Propaganda against the regime”. The sentence was issued by Abolqasem Salavati, a judge in branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.

On June 18, 2018, Mohammad Mozaffari was sent to Evin Prison to serve his two-year sentence.

Mr Mozaffari’s lawyers objected to his judicial sentence and the case was referred to the appeals court. Mr Mozaffari’s sentence was upheld by branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court.

Four prisoners were executed in Minab and Bandar Abbas

Iranian official sources have reported on the execution of three prisoners in Minab Prison on rape charges. The executions were reportedly carried out on the morning of Wednesday, August 8, 2018. According to an Iranian state-run news agency, the unidentified prisoners were accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in 2016 in the city of Minab.

Minab is one of the eastern cities of the Hormozgan province in southern Iran.

Prisoner at Bandar Abbas Central Prison Executed

On the morning of Tuesday, August 7, 2018, a prisoner convicted of “Murder” was reportedly executed in Bandar Abbas’s central prison. The prisoner, who has been identified as 46-year-old Amir Ali Kolivand, was arrested in June 2014.

Mr Kolivand was transferred from Haji Abad Prison to Bandar Abbas’s central prison on Monday, August 6. Haji Abad is the northernmost city of the Hormozgan province and is located near the Kerman province.

Regarding Mr Kolivand’s case, an informed told HRANA: “Amir Ali Kolivand was also charged with trafficking 5 kilograms of crystal meth, but he was executed on the charge of killing a bus driver.”

Mr Kolivand’s execution has not been announced by Iranian official sources.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran, in proportion to population per capita and executions, ranks first in the world in executions.

An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are considered “secret executions”.

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018), at least 322 citizens were executed and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these, there was the execution of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.

Baha’i Citizen in Yazd Arrested

Mehran Bandi Amirabadi, a Bahai citizen, was arrested without a warrant by security forces on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in the city of Yazd (conservative religious capital of the Yazd province).

A close source confirmed the news and told HRANA: “At noon, security forces arrested Mehran Bandi Amirabadi at his workplace.”

Mr Amirabadi was tried with six other Bahai citizens in branch 3 of the Yazd Appeals Court. Mr Amirabadi was sentenced to one and a half years in prison and one year in exile in Divandareh (a remote city in the Kurdistan province).

Iranian Baha’i citizens are systematically deprived of religious freedoms, while according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the right to adopt and manifest the religion of their choice either individually, in public or in private.

Based on unofficial sources, more than 300,000 Baha’is live in Iran. However, Iran’s Constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism and denies recognizing the Baha’i faith as an official religion. Consequently, the rights of Baha’is are systematically violated in Iran.

Political Activist Mokhtar Zarei Temporarily Released from Prison

According to close sources and the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, political prisoner Mokhtar Zarei was temporarily released on bail from Sanandaj Prison on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, after 17 days of detention.

Mr Zarei was reportedly arrested on Saturday, July 23, 2018, and summoned to court.

A few days before his arrest, Mr Zarei claimed the reason for his arrest is his criticisms against Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, and the human rights violations in Iran.

Environmental Activist Yousef Farhadi Babadi Summoned to Court

Environmental activist Yousef Farhadi Babadi was reportedly summoned to branch 118 of the Isfahan Criminal Court regarding Dr Abedi’s (parliament representative of Isfahan) lawsuit. Mr Babadi was released on bail from Isfahan prison on March 12, 2018.

On March 5, 2018, Mr Babadi received a subpoena and a call from the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province’s prosecutor’s office regarding his publication in a social media channel called “Sound of Water”, which mainly criticized the water situation in Iran. This subpoena was issued to him based on the charge of “Disseminating lies and disturbing public opinion in cyberspace”.

A Civil Rights Activist in Marivan and Two Others in Oshnavieh Arrested by Intelligence Agents, Transferred to Unknown Location

According to close sources and the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights, in the last week of July 2018, Marivan intelligence agents arrested Arman Ghafouri, civil rights and environmental activist, and transferred him to an undisclosed location. Mr Ghafouri’s family has not been able to obtain any precise information about the reason for his arrest or the location where he is being held.

Previously, Armin Ghafouri and eight other civil rights activists were arrested on March 12, 2018, and interrogated by Iranian authorities regarding their participation in a gathering condemning the “Turkish military operation of Afrin”. army’s attack on the Afrin city”. They were subsequently released on bail.

During the past few days, Kamel Ahmadi and Tayyeb Bamorovat were arrested by Intelligence agents for the charge of “Cooperation with a Kurdish opposition party” and transferred to an unknown location. A total of seven citizens from Oshnavieh have been arrested for the same charge and the identity of only five of them has been identified thus far.

Protests and Marches in at Least Six Iranian Cities

Posted on: August 8th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Throughout Sunday and Monday in Iran, multiple protests were reported across Iran. Protesters included: a group of Azadi Sports Complex workers (in Tehran), a group of Falat-e Ghare oil workers (in Khark island in the Persian Gulf), several Northeastern Railroad workers, a group of Tehran’s Shad Abad Iron Market merchants, a group of landowners in Savojbalagh (whose properties have been recently designated as a “national resource”), and a group of residents of Asr Abad village in Marivan (western Iran).

Azadi Sports Complex

According to the state-run Fars News Agency, Azadi Sports Complex workers were protesting the dismissal of six of their colleagues in addition to unpaid severance pays.

Azadi complex is under provisional direction following the sacking of its last director in July. Twenty protesting workers first gathered in Azadi Sports Complex to voice their demands and then headed to the Ministry of Sport and Youth. Following the rally in front of the Ministry, Zhaleh Faramarzian, a Ministry VP, met and spoke with a representative of the protesters. When Ms Faramarzian reportedly promised to help resolve their issues, the protestors marched to the Development and Maintenance of the Athletic Facilities Office to hold discussions with its president, Hassan Karimi.
As a result of these discussions, it was agreed that the six dismissed workers would return to work and the other demands would be met as soon as possible.

Falat-Ghareh Oil Workers Go on Strike

Workers at the Falat-Ghareh located in Khark Island in the Persian Gulf launched a strike and rallied in protest to a $50* cut to their salaries. According to the state-run Tasnim News Agency, the employer is refusing to heed to the demands of the workers.

Railroad workers continue their strike

The news website Radio Zamaneh reports on the continued strikes of railroad workers and that the North East railroad workers blocked railroad tracks to stop train services.

There are reports of continued strikes in the cities of Sarakhs, Shahroud, Damghan, and Semnan. The workers in these areas have reportedly not received their salaries, insurance, and severance pays for the past three months.

Railroad workers in Iran who number 7,000 nationally demand that temporary and contractual agreements are scrapped and replaced by permanent positions. They also ask for their unpaid salaries and benefits and seek insurance coverage [by the employer].

Iron Market Strike Continues

Radio Zamaneh reports that for the second day in a row, merchants at Tehran’s Shad Abad Iron Market went on strike. A video clip disturbed on social networks shows closed shops at this market.

Land Owners of Kowsar Remain in Limbo over Legal Status of Their Properties

According to Radio Zamaneh, a group of landowners at Savojbalagh assembled in front of Alborz Province’s Agricultural Jihad Ministry to protest broken promises by officials and the legal limbo surrounding the status of their properties.

The owners of these 1,200 pieces of land had purchased their properties from Habitation Coops. However, the lands were declared “national” property in 2016. The owners have been passed between the Natural Resources Office and the Housing and Urban Planning Organization.

Back in March, the Savojbalagh county director claimed that the issues surrounding the properties were resolved and the landowners would receive good news.

Residents of Asr Abad Village Protest Their Village Being Used as Landfill

According to Radio Zamaneh, Asr Abad residents protesting the burial of the city of Varamin’s garbage in their village have blocked the burial for the past three days. Photos of the large piles of garbage in a parking lot have been distributed. Marivan’s Governor had promised to remove the trash but no concrete action has been taken.

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* Calculated based on an exchange rate of $1=10,000 tomans

Reza Shahabi Released by the End of His Sentence

Posted on: May 22nd, 2018

HRANA News Agency – A prominent labor activist, Reza Shahabi, was released from Evin Prison by the end of his sentence. During his jail time, he went through several strokes and hunger strikes.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Reza Shahabi, a prominent labor activist and member of the board of the syndicate of Bus Drivers Company was released from Evin Prison on March 13. (more…)

A Labor Activist Began Serving His Term in Saqez Prison

Posted on: April 28th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Osman Esmaili, a labor activist who had been sentenced to two months in prison for “participating in the International Labor Day” was send to Saghez prison to endure his imprisonment sentence.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Osman Esmaili, a labor activist who had been sentenced to two months imprisonment by the first Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Saghez for “promoting the interests of opposition groups” through “participating in the International Labor Day”, was send to Saghez prison to endure his imprisonment sentence. (more…)

Mokhtar Asadi’s Parole Was Rejected by the Court

Posted on: March 31st, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Mokhtar Asadi’s request for parole was refused. He is a member of the Kurdish Teachers’ Association, who is serving a one-year imprisonment in Evin prison on charges of propaganda against the regime.

According to the report of Human Rights Activist News Agency in Iran (HRANA), the parole of Mokhtar Asadi, Trade Union activist who is serving his one year in Evin Prison, has been rejected. (more…)