Workers’ Rights Activist Peyman Farhangian Receives One-Year Sentence and Travel Restrictions

The Gilan Court of Appeal has recently sentenced Peyman Farhangian, a poet and advocate for workers’ rights, to a one-year imprisonment term. Additionally, he has been subjected to a two-year travel ban and other social restrictions.

According to the verdict issued on November 8, Farhangian was convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime.” The court has further mandated the removal of his Instagram page. Notably, the initial guilty verdict was delivered by the Criminal Court of Astaneh-ye Ashrafiyeh during a court session held in absentia, without the presence of Farhangian or his legal representative.

This marks a recurring legal challenge for Farhangian, who has a history of facing convictions and imprisonment for his activism. On September 23, 2020, he was initially handed a 38-year sentence, later reduced to ten years on appeal, with seven years of the term suspended for five years. Commencing his sentence on May 16, 2022, in Ezbaram Prison in Lahijan, he was granted probation and released in December 2022.

Civil Rights Activist Peyman Sokooti’s Six-Year, Nine-Month Sentence Upheld

The Gilan Court of Appeals upheld the initial sentence against civil rights activist Peyman Sokooti.

The Rasht Revolutionary Court had previously found Sokooti guilty on multiple charges, including “propaganda against the regime,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” and “membership in anti-regime groups,” leading to the lengthy sentence.

As per Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, he is expected to serve three years and six months of the imposed sentence.

Sokooti’s legal ordeal began on May 23, 2022, when security forces arrested him. Following his arrest, he was held in an IRGC detention facility for ten days before being transferred to Lakan Prison in Rasht.

 

Five Citizens Arrested for Circulating “Obscene Pictures” On the Internet

The Deputy Chief of Police of Gilan announced that they have arrested five people for allegedly circulating so-called “obscene pictures” on the Internet. The regime’s police and judicial authorities have been criticized for violating privacy rights of citizens and interfering with individual affairs.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, the detained people have been delivered to judicial authorities pending legal proceedings.

Imposing a certain lifestyle on citizens stands in blatant violation of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which entitles everyone the right to life, liberty and security of person. Additionally, Article 12 of this declaration affirms, “One shall not be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”.

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.

 

Saturday, November 20

A number of workers and retirees assembled in the Worker House in Tehran. In this gathering, the workers showed their protest against a plan laid out in parliament, whereby wages can be wholly determined by a consensus between employee and employer.

“This plan will increase rural-to-urban migration and hence affect negatively the ecology”, Hassan Sadeghi, one of the workers’ representatives, commented about the plan. “It
reinforces informal employment and decreases demands in the market. In this plan, employers will be able to pay insurance contribution of just 10 days rather than 30 days.”



A group of workers of Abadan Petrochemical Complex assembled at company premises in front of the central factory building. They asked for the establishment of an Islamic Labor Council as a worker organization, pointing out that the government increases only the salary base in accordance with inflation each year, while other benefits remain the same.

Personnel of the medical treatment department of Elam University of Medical Sciences assembled on campus in protest.

A number of workers in Yazd Province assembled at the Worker House in Yazd City. They asked that the disparity in wages be closed, and that labor codes and regulations regarding worker housing be implemented.

“Considering the 47% (annual) inflation, a 20 to 30% increase in wages is never enough. Therefore, we are planning to address this issue in a session with workers’ organizations as
well as through Parliament,” the member of Parliament of this city, Mr. Jokar, commented. “Among other things, addressing the temporary contracts which undermine job security, productivity and motivations for labor force have to be prioritized.”

Sunday, November 21

In Shahrekord City, hundreds of people assembled in front of the municipal building of this Province and then marched through the streets of Shahrekord in protest against water shortages
and water mismanagement.

Families of the victims of Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, which was hit by two regime missiles on January 8, 2020, resulting in the death of the 176 people on board, assembled and demanded that the court-martial convene and hold low-ranking military officers responsible for the incident accountable. Carrying placards and pictures of the victims, protesters called for justice.

A group of the retirees of the Fulad Company’s pension fund protested in Isfahan and Khuzestan before the building of this fund. They asked for the fortification of their pensions to stand
above the poverty line, the closing of disparities in pensions, and that the issues of supplementary insurance be addressed.

For several consecutive days, a group of workers of Abadan Petrochemical Complex assembled and protested at the premises of this complex. They demanded increased wages and that a workers’ organization be established.

Monday, November 22

In Shahrekord City, for a second consecutive day, dozens of citizens marched to protest against water shortage and water mismanagement in the province.

Recently-dismissed workers of the Aq-Dareh gold mine assembled at their former workplace to protest mass layoffs. They have stated that, as seasonal workers, they can hardly earn their livelihood during the winter months.

In Sirjan City, a number of workers of the edible oil company FRICO demanded their several-months-delayed wages.

Tuesday, November 23

A group of workers of Asminon Mine assembled on the road connecting Manoojān to Bandar-Abbas to protest against not addressing their issues. Reportedly, this was their fourth day of the protest.

Workers of the vegetable oil factory Nina, located in the Sirjan industrial zone, assembled in front of the municipal building to ask for their wage demands and determine their job  conditions. One of the workers said that the employer’s neglect towards workers’ demands has weakened their work motivation. He also mentioned that it is about three months that the factory is temporarily closed due to the lack of raw materials.

Wednesday, November 24

Hundreds of people in two squares of Shahrekord City, in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, assembled and marched to protest against water shortages, ineffective water management policies and poor resource mismanagement. They demanded, in particular, shutting down a water transfer project which extracts water from the Province through two canals, exacerbating the current water shortage. Reportedly, currently, 96.1% of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province is facing drought.

In Isfahan, for several consecutive days, the farmers assembled in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud. They demanded their water portion and the revival of this river.

Several patients with the blood disorder Thalassemia assembled in front of the headquarter of Zahedan University of Medical Sciences. According to these protestors,  the worsening quality of its medicines has endangered the health of patients. They asked for the removal of all poor-quality medicines from the market.

A number of the victims of the financial fraud of the “King Money” cryptocurrency network assembled in front of the building of the Baadraan Universal Trading company.

The seasonal workers of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane company assembled in Shush city in front of the office of Parliament member Kaab Amir. They asked that their employment contract issues be addressed.

Thursday, November 25

A number of citizens assembled in front of the office of the Cleric Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani in Qom City to protest against the family law–particularly mehrieh (money or
possessions paid by the groom). Many men, who are not able to afford to pay this money in the divorce, are convicted and even jailed.

For a second consecutive day, seasonal workers of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane company assembled in Shush City in front of the office of Parliament member Kaab Amir.

The workers of the Iran-Khodro Company in Tabriz went on a strike and assembled at their workplace. They demanded closing the disparity in wages and implementing the Job Classification Act. 

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.

 

Saturday, November 13

A number of retirees of the airline company Homa assembled before Mehrabad Airport Central Office Building in Tehran. They also protested against the merger of Homa’s pension fund into the national pension fund.

“We have not yet fully earned the salary for September.” one of the protestors stated. “The retirees of Tehran have received 5 million tomans of the payment but the rest of the retirees have not received anything.”

In Isfahan, a number of farmers assembled in and marched through in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud. This is the sixth day that they have protested to demand their water portion.

 

A group of contracted teachers and educators working in Neyshabur City protested in the building of the General Department of Education of Razavi Khorasan Province in Mashhad.

Reportedly, despite news that the contracted teachers will be recruited by the Ministry of Education in the cities of Neyshabur and Firouzeh, following a dispute between the local departments and the general department of the Ministry of Education on hours and wages, the supportive plan was cancelled.

 

A group of residents in a district in Izeh County in Khuzestan Province assembled in front of the government building to demand their rights. They claimed that a portion of their land has been confiscated by the Department of Natural Resources.

Sunday, November 14

 

A group of syndicate bus drivers of Tehran Bus Company assembled before the building of Government Employees’ Court and then marched towards the Judiciary Office in Tehran. As one of the protestors mentioned, they protested against delays in payment, not receiving uniforms and contractors who are shirking their responsibilities towards addressing workers’ issues.

Personnel of at least nine medical centers, belonging to the University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, assembled and protested against authorities’ failure to follow through on promises they have made.

Retirees of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad assembled before the office of the President to demand that their housing issues be addressed. Reportedly, several years ago, they made down payments on apartments from a housing cooperative and then were never granted building permits.

A number of contracted teachers assembled in front of the government building in Qazvin City to protest against modifications in job contracts and irregular payments. Reportedly, these teachers primary complaints relate to the arbitrary determination of salaries. They stated that their monthly salary is just about 1.8 million tomans, which falls below the poverty line.

A number of retirees of the pension fund of Fulad Company assembled in front of the pension fund offices of various cities. They asked for the fortification of their pension to surpass the poverty line, closing the disparity in pension incomes, enforcing Article 96 of the Social Security Act, solving issues regarding supplementary insurance.

A group of sugarcane harvesting workers of Haft-Tappeh Company assembled and protested at the company premises. 150 fired sugarcane workers demanded to be hired again and work in other parts of the company.

Contracted service workers of Ahvaz Municipality assembled before the governorate building to ask to be recruited by the municipality rather than contractors.

For a seventh consecutive days, a group of farmers assembled in Isfahan and marched through the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud to demand their water portion. They spent the night in tents under the Khaju Bridge.

Monday, November 15

A number of Taxi drivers assembled and protested before the City Council Office in Kahnooj City in Kerman Province to protest against the newly announced fare rates. They said that they can hardly afford their living costs with such low rates.

Tuesday, November 16

Personnel of the drilling company Global Petro Tech Kish assembled in Ahvaz City to protest seven month delays in payments.

 

Earthquake victims of Bandar-Abbas villages assembled to protest against neglect of their issues.

 

A number of workers of Sanandaj Municipality assembled in front of the City Council Building to demand their unpaid wages.

Wednesday, November 17

 

Dozens of workers of the tire manufacturing factory Barez assembled at factory premises to protest against the gap in wages and benefits.

“Many times we asked company management to do something about discrimination in wages and address our poor job conditions,” one worker said. “Considering poor economic conditions of the county, there has been no increase in our wages despite the multiplying manufactured products’ prices.”

 

Personnel of Metro security in Karaj City went on a strike and assembled before the metro station and demanded that wage and insurance issues be addressed.

 

In Tabriz, for several consecutive days, the workers of the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Industrial Group went on a strike and assembled at their workplace. They protested against low wages and the lack of job security, and the failure to enact the promised changes in their contracts.

 

For the ninth consecutive day, farmers in Isfahan assembled and protested in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud. They spent the night in tents under the Khaju Bridge.

 

A number of workers of the copper mining company “Dareh Zar Ruchun” assembled in Sirjan city.

They protested against the mismatch of working hours with wages, not implementing the Job Classification Act, low wages, the lack of job security.

Thursday, November 18

 

A number of workers of Railway Services & Technical Construction Engineering Company working in Metro Security assembled and blocked the railway and demanded their delayed payments.

For the tenth consecutive day, farmers assembled and protested in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud in Isfahan to ask for their water supply.

 

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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 26 this year, 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.

 

 

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.

 

Saturday, September 25

This Saturday, the family of Amir Hossein Hatami, who recently died under suspicious circumstances in custody, gathered in front of the Greater Tehran Prison to demand accountability from prison officials. Also, in 36 cities across the country, working and retired teachers rallied in protest. Working and retired workers of Homa Airline gathered in front of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development building in Tehran, and employees of Iran international General Contractor Company (IGC) went on strike in Asaluyeh.

Working and retired teachers in protesting in 36 cities across the country:

 

Sunday, September 25

On Sunday, a number of Workers Protests took place. Employees of the road construction and mining company Mobayen, retirees of Fulad steel company in regard to their pension fund in Isfahan and Khuzestan, and employees of Pars Tabiaat Celulose and its parent company, Kaghaz Pars, all held demonstrations.

Retired workers of a steel company (Fulad)’s  about pension funds in Isfahan and Khuzestan:

Employees of the road construction and mining company Mobayen:

Protests of workers of Kaghaz Pars company and its daughter company, Pars Tabiaat cellulose:

 

Tuesday, September 28,

This Tuesday, a number of Haft Tappeh workers protested once again. Victims of fraudulent activities boycotted a car retail company in Jam County. Additionally, retirees of the Ministry of Health in Khuzestan, Isfahan, Gilan, Golestan, and East Azerbaijan protested.

 

Wednesday, September 29

Buyers who pre-purchased cars protested Shahrkhodro Company for not receiving thir orders on time. Kerman coal company workers protested low wagest, and workers of Haft Tappeh went on strike for a second consecutive day. A number of truck drivers in Saveh also protested delays in fuel shipments.

 

Dissatisfied purchasers of cars against ShahrKhodro Company:

Workers of Kerman Coal Company demanding higher wages:

Haft-Tappeh workers on strike:

Thursday, September 30

Teachers in Qom and Markazi provinces demanded better conditions and higher wages this Thursday. Service personel of the ministry of education also protested poor job conditions in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari.

Teachers in Qom and Markazi provinces regarding wages:

Haft Tappeh workers on strike:

 

 

Teachers Union Activist Aziz Ghasemzadeh Arrested in Gilan

On Sunday, September 26, Aziz Ghasemzadeh, the spokesman of the Gilan Teachers and Education Staffs union, was arrested at his father’s house.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Coordination Council of Iranian Education Associations’ channel,  agents searched the house and confiscated Mr. Ghasemzadeh’s personal belongings during the arrest.

As of this writing, the whereabouts of the detainee and 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.”