HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, a number of protests took place this week in Iran, many of which were continuations of ongoing movements.  Read our recap below for details, photos, and videos from the demonstrations.

 

Friday, October 15

In Isfahan, a number of farmers assembled at the office of parliament member Hossein Mirzaie to protest the mismanagement in addressing water shortage. In response to the member of parliament (MP) who had recommended rain praying as the only solution, these farmers asked him to pray.

“We are waiting for the MP to come here and do rain prayer,” the farmers stated. “We go here on sit-down strike until it rains.”

 

A number of construction workers for a project to build a freeway tunnel from Manjil to Rasht City went on strike to protest against their employer who broke his promise regarding paying delayed wages. According to the workers, after fifteen days, the employer has yet to fulfill his promise to pay four months of unpaid wages.

About 800 workers working on the Shafa Rud dam in Gilan Province additionally went on strike last Friday to ask for the payment of their wages, which are seven months delayed.

“Since last year, I have been trying to address their issues,” Hassan Muhammad Yari , the MP of Talesh City, stated in Parliament. “Many times, I gave speeches in the parliament; however, so far there has been no one to listen. Therefore, these workers went on strike to reach their demands and I will join them from next week.”

Saturday, October 16

A group of workers of Ahvaz municipality protested on Saturday, first in front of the parliament building in Tehran and then at the office of the president. Reportedly, 69 recently-temporarily-laid-off workers of Ahvaz Municipality demanded to return to work. The workers have not been paid for the last six months and are facing a four month suspension from work.

Sunday, October 17

Workers of the Tehran Bus Company, along with the stakeholder of the housing cooperative of this company, assembled in front of the judiciary building in Tehran. The housing cooperative set up Sepidar construction projects 2 and 3 aiming to provide these bus drivers with housing, but 10 years after its introduction the project remains unfinished.

A number of people who have lost money to Cryptoland, a cryptocurrency exchange, assembled in front of the parliament building and demanded the return of their money

A number of retirees of the pension fund of the steel corporation Fulad assembled in front of the building of this corporation in Isfahan. They asked for the improvement of their pension funds in proportion with the poverty line, closing the gap in pension incomes and addressing issues in regard to supplementary insurance.

Bus and minibus drivers working in the transport service of Southern Pars assembled and protested against low wages in comparison to increasing transportation costs.

Monday, October 18

Some personnel of Ahvaz Water and Wastewater Company assembled in front of the company building to protest the upcoming merger with Khuzestan Water and Water Waste company, among other issues. They said that the merger would worsen the financial situation of the company and the quality of their service as happened after the merger of with rural Water & Wastewater Company with its counterpart in the province.

Tuesday, October 19

A number of citizens assembled in front of the parliament building to protest against unfair family laws especially “Mehrieh”, which relates to the certain amount of money or possession paid by the groom before marriage or later at any time on request of the bride.

A group of workers working in ShafaRud dam assembled in on company property in Rezvanshahr City. These workers have not been paid for seven months and more than 700 workers have been laid off due to the shutdown of the project.

A number of workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled and protested on company property. They have been on strike for 23 days. These workers demand payment of their delayed wages, an immediate return of the company from the private sector to public, the return of laid off workers to work, extension of the contracts of both seasonal workers and workers of the pest control department, and the carrying out of repair operations.

 

The workers of Hadid Mobtakeran Company assembled and protested unpaid wages, which have been delayed by two months. 

 

A number of customers of Azvico company (Azarbaijan Vehicle Industry), who had pre-purchased cars protested in front of the building of Economic Crimes Court in Tehran. These citizens have not yet received their purchased car after three years.

 

A group of people, who lost their investment in the Aftab Project, assembled in front of Rey City Court.

 

A group of poultry farmers assembled in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad in Tehran in protest of high incubator costs and government-imposed fixed prices.

A group of people who have not yet received their pre-ordered cars after several years from Persian Khodro Company, Ramak Khodro Company, Seyf Khodro Company, and Karma Company protested on Tuesday.

 

Workers of the private companies which are working as contractors for Bushehr Petrochemical Company went on strike once again. They demanded increased wages, changing shift-work schedule to 20 days work, 10 days off, improvement of worker accommodations and food. It is worth mentioning that since June 19, these workers have launched a campaign to call all oil industry workers to join the strike.

Wednesday, October 20

A number of depositors of Caspian, a finance and credit institution, assembled in front of the building of the Liquidation Board in Tehran. They said that after six years, this finance institution refuses to return their investments. 

“Today we assembled in front of the building of Liquidation Board,” one of the participants in this protest commented. “Once they did not respond, we went inside and they cut off the power of the building to force us to leave.”

Thursday, October 21

A number of workers for a garment factory Sabalan assembled in front of the governorate building in Ardabil to demand their unpaid wages, which have not been paid for three months. These workers say that while the company spends a lot of money on erecting pavilions, building restaurants in company premises, other expenses for tourist attractions, and paying some former politicians apparently as Consultants or board members, they do not pay workers’ wages.

A group of women’s rights activists and other citizens assembled at the Faezeh Maleki-Nia’s burial place in Dolat-Abad village to ask for the repeal of discrimanatory laws against women. On Sunday, October 3, 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki was burned to death by her father in Sanandaj City.

Activist and Teacher Aziz Ghasemzadeh Still Incommunicado in Detention

After eight days, teacher and union activist Aziz Ghasemzadeh is still  incommunicado in a detention facility of the intelligence office in Rudsar County in Gilan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Ghasemzadeh has so far been denied access to a lawyer, phone calls and in-person visits.

On September 4, security forces arrested the educator at his parents’ home in Rudsar. During the arrest, security forces inspected the house and confiscated several of Ghasemzadeh’s personal belongings.

The arrest took place the day after working and retired teachers held protests in 36 cities across the country, which were organized by the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations.

According to HRANA, Ghasemzadeh is still being denied access to his lawyer and his temporary detention period has been extended. As of this writing, the charges against him are unknown.

 

 

79 Citizens Arrested for Promoting Emergence of a New Mysticism in Gilan Province

Maleki, the commander of the Gilan police force, recently announced the arrest of 79 citizens in one of the province’s forests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the citizens were arrested for what Maleki called “promoting emerging mysticism”.

“79 members of a tourist tour, including 27 women and 52 men, were arrested on charges of promoting false mysticism by holding superstitious rituals in the unsafe environment of a remote forest area,” he said.

Intrusion into citizens’ privacy and interference in their personal affairs are among the criticisms leveled at Iran’s judicial and disciplinary system.

“After receiving news about individuals who use cyberspace trying to propagate and promote emerging false mysticism through fraud,” Maleki continued, “receiving money, and setting up illegal tourist tours by holding superstitious rituals, the investigation of the issue was put on the agenda of the police.”

Atena Daemi on a Hunger Strike in Lakan Prison in Rasht in Gilan Province

On August 12, civil activist Atena Daemi went on a hunger strike in Lakan prison in Rasht in protest of repeated telephone cuts and prison mismanagement.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, it is said that the head of the prison has not been seen in the prison for about 4 weeks, and his absence has slowed down the release process of many prisoners.

According to an informed source, the frequent interruption of the prison phone raised concerns among Atena’s family members, and her parents had to travel to the Lakan Prison to visit Atena while they were infected with the coronavirus to confirm her well being.

Atena (Fatemeh) Daemi was sentenced to 14 years in prison on May 15, 2015, by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, on charges of conspiracy against national security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the leadership. After the appeal and application of Article 134, 5 years of prison were enforceable to her.

In 2018, while enduring her sentence in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, she and Golrokh Ebrahimi faced a new case, they were sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to an additional 2 years and 1 month in prison after applying Article 134.

In July 2020, Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mohammad Reza Amouzad, sentenced Ms. Daemi to two years in prison and 74 lashes for a new lawsuit filed against her while imprisoned. The case was opened by the complaint of the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC against Ms. Daemi.

In March 2021, the Supreme Court overturned a request for a retrial of Atena’s lawyers. Atena Daemi and her family members have also faced numerous other security and judicial cases and pressures. In March 2021, Atena was transferred in handcuffs and shackles from Evin Prison to Lakan Prison in Rasht in Gilan Province.

This is not the young activist’s first hunger strike. Atena Daemi once went on a hunger strike in 2015, which led to health problems and removal of her gallbladder. Her previous hunger strike experience has increased her family’s concern.

27 Citizens Arrested In Gilan in Connection with the Presidential Election

Gilan deputy police chief Hossein Hassanpour stated 27 citizens in Gilan province were arrested for what he called “harming the health of the elections”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA News, Hassanpour stated that the Gilan Public Security Police has verbally dealt with 85 other people so far.

The report does not mention the identities of the detained citizens or their detention status.

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Mohammad Hosseini Ajdadi Summoned for Enforcement of Judgment

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mohammad Hosseini Ajdadi, a citizen of Lahijan City in Gilan province, was summoned  for enforcement of judgment by the executive branch of the Second Criminal Court in Tehran.

In December of 2020, Hosseini Ajdadi was  unknowingly sentenced to two years in prison and a substantial fine, after his 2019 case was reopened in connection with new materials published online.

In the summer of 2019, Mohammad Hosseini Ajdadi was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents in Lahijan, on charges of “spreading lies against the country’s officials to disturb the public mind”. He was released on a 200 million Toman bail, paid for by his mother.

In December of that year, Hosseini Ajdadi was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 4 million Tomans by Branch 1037 of Tehran’s Second Criminal Court, but was later acquitted from “insulting the leadership” charges.

All steps of Mr. Hosseini Ajdadi’s latest trial took place without his presence or information. In fact, he only finally became aware of his conviction sentence while checking on the status of  judiciary paperwork for his previous summon.

It is worth noting that in 2019, Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi,  with the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, removed a section of Constitution requiring the presence of a defendant, plaintiff, or legal representative at appeal hearings.

Hosseini Ajdadi’s mother was informed by the Lahijan Judiciary on behalf of the Tehran Criminal Court that the bail bond will be confiscated if Mr. Ajdadi does not show up on time.