A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for January 29, 2019

Posted on: January 29th, 2019

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on January 29th, 2019 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than nine protests were organized across the country. The truck drivers in Tehran, preschool teachers in Bagh-e Malek in Khuzestan province, the shareholders of Caspian financial institution in Mashhad and Rasht, several people with law degree in Tehran, the residents of Jalalabad, the truck drivers of Bojnourd Cement, the students of Academy of Gondishapur in Ahvaz, and the flood victims in Rafi city in Khuzestan province have held separate protests to request their demands.

(2) The security forces on Tuesday, arrested Saeed Sadeghifar in Ardabil. His and four other Turkic minority rights activists’ court was on January 24, on the charge of “establishing illegal groups with the intention to disturbing national security”.

(3) Jafar Azimzadeh and Parvin Mohammadi the leading member and the vice president of the Free Union of Workers in Iran , were arrested for unknown reasons. Their whereabouts are still unknown. Moreover, Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsanirad have been acquitted of charges of “acting against national security” in June 2018. In 2016 he was sentenced to 17 years in prison over charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security through organizing an illegal group’.

(4) Mohammad Khanifar, a Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Company worker, was released on 500 million [approximately 50 thousand USD] bail. He was arrested on Sunday by the intelligence agents in Shush.

(5) Sunni Friday Prayer Leader, Molavi Mohammad Hossein Gorgij, was summoned and interrogated in the Special Clerical Court for seven hours on Monday. In July, he was banned from traveling when he was going to visit Iranshahr Friday prayer Leader about rapes of women in Iranshahr.

(6) Hadi Salehpour, a 29-year-old resident of Ahvaz, was arrested and transferred to the intelligence office detention center in Ahvaz, one and a half month ago. His condition is unknown.

(7) Alireza Moinian’s request of furlough was denied. He was serving his eight months sentence since December and legally, he should have been granted furlough on bail.

(8) A school vehicle crashed into a pickup truck which injured five students in Babolsar, Mazandaran province. They were transferred to the hospital in Babol.

(9) A school vehicle rolled over in Kabudarahang, Hamadan province. Two of the seven students on-board were injured and transferred to the hospital.

(10) Natural gas leakage, poisoned 25 students in a girls’ elementary school in Bam, Kerman province.  A classroom heater’s gas leakage severely poisoned nine of the students. They were transferred to the hospital.

(11) The workers of Zarabad municipality in Sistan and Baluchestan province, have at least seven months unpaid wages.

(12) Mahmoud Naji ended his hunger strike after prison officials promise to fulfill his demands regarding his parole request. He went on a hunger strike for the same cause earlier on December 11, 2018 and ended it on December 25.

(13) Sina Moloudian, a Christian converted, was arrested by security forces in Isfahan and was transferred to an unknown place. His house was searched, and his belongings was confiscated.

(14) Namegh Deldel, a Sunni prisoner of conscience was returned to Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj from the intelligence detention center in Sanandaj. He is serving his sentence of six-year prison term, on the national security related charges.

(15) Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, the lawyer of two detained environmentalists reported that his clients were summoned to the court again. Five of the detained environmental activists were charged with “corruption on earth”. The environmentalists who were arrested last year are Houman Jokar, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi, Taher Ghadirian, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, Morad Tahbaz, Hasan Zareh, Aref Zareh, Morteza Aryanejad, Alireza Farhadzadeh, and Kavous Seyed Emami. Seyed Emami, an environmentalist and professor, was arrested as part of this crackdown and reportedly died in detention under unknown circumstances two weeks after his arrest.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 30, 2018

Posted on: December 30th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 30th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) The 2018 annual overview of Human rights violations in Iran which is compiled by HRANA from 3677 reports is published. This 42-page report contains the details of more than 7442 months of imprisonment sentences, 2694 lashes, and execution of 236 people.

(2) The house of Jalil Behamin, a Baha’i citizen in Isfahan, was thoroughly searched by the security forces and some of his belongings were confiscated. The house of two other Baha’i citizens in Isfahan had been searched by the security forces in the past weeks

(3) Nine Christian converts in Karaj were arrested suspecting their ties to a ‘Zionist Christian sect’. They are accused of trying to convert Muslims and the followers of other religions to their underground house church.

(4) The family of Ali Nejati, a detained member the syndicate of workers of Haft Tappeh Agro-Industry, reported concerns about his health conditions in the prison. He is suffering from heart disease.

(5) Jamshid Derakhshan, a Christian convert, was released on bail on December 16th. He was arrested on November 30th in Karaj.

(6) Four prisoners were transferred to solitary confinements
in preparation for their execution in the Urmia prison. Their charges are murder and narcotic drugs-related crimes.

(7) The appeal court of five Baha’i citizens of Shiraz will be in session on Monday. They were earlier sentenced to one-year imprisonment and one year of exile in the Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court.

(8) Pouya Razavian, a Baha’i student, has been banned from school since 2011. He was barred from graduating from high school because of his faith.

(9) Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist Hengameh Shahidi’s attorney confirmed that he has submitted an appeal request for her sentence of 12-years and nine months of imprisonment.

(10) A school vehicle crash injured five students in Sumay-ye Beradust District in Urmia province. The injured students have been transferred to a local hospital.

(11) A citizen was severely injured in a landmine explosion incident in Dasht-e Abbas village in Dehloran County in Ilam Province.

(12) Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi, a writer and activist, who was arrested in Mashhad at October 11, was released on bail today. He was accused of acting against national security and overthrowing the government.

(13) Marliksan Company in Qazvin laid off 180 workers.

(14) Two citizens were sentenced to death in Tehran. One of them accused of murdering the executive editor of ‘Shomaresh’ magazine. Moreover, in Gonbad-e Kavus three prisoners got the victims’ family’s consent and were saved from execution.

(15) Several employees and the head of Kish Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting were fired due to inefficient censorship of a foreign television show.

(16) Hendijan’s head of health care system confirmed that 33 residents are victims of drinking contaminated water. They have been diagnosed with dysentery.

(17) The director of AIDS Research Center, Dr. Minoo Mohraz, confirmed that the main AIDS transmission method has been changed to sexual contact in the past two years. She added that the number of infected females has grown 10 times.

(18) Two workers in Tehran and Kerman have been injured due to their unsafe workplaces.

(19) Municipal workers of Lowshan, students who have been accepted in Azad University entrance exam, workers of city services in Nishabur, the farmers of Isfahan province, families of detained workers of Iran National Steel Industry Group, workers of city services in Kut-e Abdolla, and students of Science and Technology University held separate protests on December 30, 2018.

A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 22, 2018

Posted on: December 22nd, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 22nd, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

(1) More than seven protests were organized in Iran. Abadan municipality workers, Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company workers, more than 100 workers of Cement Plant Manufacturer, workers of Tehran and Suburb Bus Driver Company, students in Zahedan, the students of Sistan and Baluchestan University, and the workers of Ahvaz Intercity Railroad Corporation requested their demands in separate protests.

(2) A ranger was severely injured in a fight against poachers in Gilan-e Gharb, a city in Kermanshah province.

(3) A businessman, Hamid Reza Bagheri Dermani, also known as the Sultan of Bitumen, was executed on December 21, 2018. He was accused of ‘Spreading corruption on Earth’, fraud, bribery, and embezzlement.

(4) A labor activist, Khalil Karimi, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment in the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court. He was charged with ‘propaganda against the State’, participating in the International Labor Day, and taking part in the International Campaign of No to Execution in Iran.

(5) Saber Naderi was arrested and transferred to Sanandaj prison on December 19 to begin serving his Sentence. He faced four years in prison on charge of ‘acting against national security’.

(6) More than 130 thousand 5-11-year-old children are deprived from going to school in the school year of 2018-2019. Moreover, 30% of them belong to Sistan and Baluchestan which has the highest rate among provinces.

(7) In the last six months, 130 convicts received alternative sentences in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province . These sentences included public service, purchasing books, counseling, and fines.

(8) More than 35 workers of Tabriz Bearing Manufacturer have four months unpaid wages. Tabriz is the city of East Azerbaijan Province.

(9) In the last few days, 20 workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group were released on Bail. The released workers are Seyed Habib Tabatabaei, Javad Gholami, Mohsen Baloti, Mehdi Tahmasebi, Kourosh Esmaeili, Ali Emami, Abdolreza Dasti, Sohrab Naami, Hossein Asakereh, Fariborz Sheikh Robat, Seyed Ali Javadpour. At least 43 workers were arrested on December 19.

(10) Vahid Jahangiri who has been accused of murder in 2011, was executed in Isfahan on December 17. Another prisoner who was accused of murdering a five-year-old girl, Melika, was executed on December 21, 2018 in Falavarjan. And finally, a prisoner charged with murder who was held in Tehran prison was saved from death with forgiveness and consent of the next of kin at the gallows.

(11) Mohammad Khakpour, an Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist, was arraigned to the Ardabil Revolutionary Court.

(12) Three construction workers were injured due to an unsafe workplace in Hajiabad city in the Hormozgan province.


A Daily Overview of Human Rights Violations in Iran for December 11, 2018

Posted on: December 11th, 2018

The following is an overview of human rights violations in Iran on December 11th, 2018 based on the information compiled and verified by Human Rights Activists NewsAgency a(HRANA).

(1) Esmail Bakhshi Faced New Accusations by the Public Prosecutor’s Office

(2) The Defenders of Human Rights Center Awarded the Human Rights Prize to the Teachers Association of Iran

(3) All Rock Concerts Set to be Performed in the Azadi Tower Were Canceled

(4) Reza Shahabi and Few Other Members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Were Arrested; the Self-immolation of a Worker

(5) Arash Keykhosravi Was Released

(6) Mohammad Habibi, An Imprisoned Teacher is Suffering from not Receiving Proper Medical Care

(7) Asghar Firouzi, a Former Political Activist, Was Arrested in Mashhad

(8) Abbas Lesani’s Family are Experiencing Financial Hardship

(9) Meysam Al-e Mehdi Was Arrested On the 32nd Day of the Protest of the Workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group

(10) Two Azerbaijani Turkic Minority Rights Activists Were arrested in Urmia

(11) Five Workers Were Injured in Their Workplace in Last Two Days in Asaluyeh and Urmia

(12) A Classroom’s Ceiling Collapse at a Ramhormoz School Injured Two Students

(13) 38 Child Marriages in Eslamabad-e Gharb in Eight Months

(14) More from Iran

        

(1) Esmail Bakhshi Faced New Accusations by the Public Prosecutor’s Office

Farzaneh Zilabi, the defender lawyer of Esmail Bakhshi, the detained worker of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Business, said that he has a new accusation and it will be investigated in branch 12 at the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz. Zilabi added: my other case, Ali Nejati, Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Business union member who was arrested recently, has new accusations too.

(2) The Defenders of Human Rights Center Awarded the Human Rights Prize to the Teachers Association of Iran

The Defenders of Human Rights Center awarded the “Human Rights Activist” prize to the “Teachers Association of Iran”. The Defenders of Human Rights Center awards a symbolic statue of Cyrus’ Cylinder
every year on Human Rights Day.

(3) All Rock Concerts Set to be Performed in the Azadi Tower Were Canceled.

Farshad Ramezani the lead singer of Degardis group, confirmed the cancelation of all the planned rock concerts in Azadi tower. Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that Ramezani confirmed the cancelation of his concert and added that Hooman Ajdari, Badzang, and Kanal’s groups concerts were also canceled. He believed this situation is caused by deviant behavior of the other rock groups who had performed earlier in Azadi tower and their fans actions.

(4) Reza Shahabi and Few Other Members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Were Arrested; the Self-immolation of a Worker

Reza Shahabi and Hassan Saeedi, members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company and three other people were arrested. They were arrested on December 10 and  have been transferred to the Evin prison but were released on December 11.  In addition, In the last few days, a worker from this company committed suicide by self-immolation because of financial issues.

(5) Arash Keykhosravi Was Released

Arash Keykhosravi, the attorney at law was released on bail of 300 million Tomans [$25000]on December 11, 2018. Ghasem Sholesadi another lawyer was also released on bail on December 4th. These lawyers were sentenced to six years jail time on December 10 and their lawyers appealed to this verdict.

(6) Mohammad Habibi, An Imprisoned Teacher is Suffering from not Receiving Proper Medical Care

Mohammad Habibi did not receive proper medical care although the doctor diagnosed his kidney disease and requested his transfer to a hospital. Prison officers refused and deprived him from getting medical care.

(7) Asghar Firouzi, a Former Political Activist, Was Arrested in Mashhad

Asghar Firouzi,a political activist who spent his jail time before and after Islamic Revolution, was arrested on December 4th in his library in Mashhad suburbs by security forces and was transferred to an unknown place. The reasons behind his arrest were undisclosed.

(8) Abbas Lesani’s Family are Experiencing Financial Hardship

Abbads Lesani, a former political prisoner and an Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activist who resides in Ardabil with his family is experiencing financial hardship. Security forces have shut down his son’s business repeatedly and his son-in-law, who was a contractor at Mohammad Bagher University in Tehran was expelled from his work. They have been notified that his contract was canceled.

(9) Meysam Al-e Mehdi Was Arrested On the 32nd Day of the Protest of the Workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group

On the 32nd day of the protest of the workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group, Meysam Al-e Mehdi was arrested. Moreover, the protest of the workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group is still ongoing and more than 10 workers were summoned and threatened.

(10) Two Azerbaijani Turkic Minority Rights Activists Were arrested in Urmia

On December 10, Reza Jafarzadeh and Akbar Gholizadeh, Azerbaijani Turkic minority rights activists, were arrested and they have been transferred to an unknown place.

(11) Five Workers Were Injured in Their Workplace in Last Two Days in Asaluyeh and Urmia

According to Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), the gas cylinder explosion in the Ethan production line in Asaluyeh injured four workers. Moreover, a construction worker in Urmia was severely injured in his workplace.

(12) A Classroom’s Ceiling Collapse at a Ramhormoz School Injured Two Students

Omid Hosseinzadeh, the head of Education department of Ramhormoz confirmed that on December 9, 2018 A classroom’s ceiling collapsed at a Ramhormoz school and two students were injured in this incident.

(13) 38 Child Marriages in Eslamabad-e Gharb in Eight Months

The governor of Eslamabad-e Gharb confirmed that there has been more than 1000 marriages registered in the last eight months of the current year. He said that in this city 38 child marriages were submitted. He encouraged families to go to counselling consulting the right age of marriage for their children which would significantly affect their future.

(14) More from Iran

A video was published on social media of a bear cub crying in Shiraz zoo to catch a piece of bread because of hunger attracts attention one more time to the poor animal care in Iran’s zoo.

Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) reported that Two park rangers were injured in an incident with poachers in Taleqan, a county in Alborz province.

Abdolmajid Bahramzehi, the Baluch political prisoner who was detained for the last seven months, has not made any contact with his family in last 53 days. In their last visit 53 days ago, he confirmed that he had been beaten by intelligence officers. His family are concerned about his situation.

Sugarcane Industry Strike Going Strong

Posted on: August 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – On Thursday, August 30th, workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA) organized a protest gathering in front of their factory’s management offices, marking the 13th consecutive day of their strike.

HRANA reports that workers’ representatives sought to conclude the strike under pressure from authorities, but workers were dogged in their resolution to strike until the company agrees to meet one of the workers’ chief demands: to re-nationalize.

When HTSA was sold to the private sector in early 2016, it caused a string of delays in worker payments that have yet to be resolved.

Workers have declared strike multiple times to demand payment of back wages, which authorities from HTSA and the city of Shush have committed but thus far failed to deliver.

In recent months, worker anger was only exacerbated by news that HTSA sections have been sold off to outside companies, reportedly founded by close associates of major HTSA shareholders.

Citing Empty Promises from Authorities, Industrial Strikers Persist

Posted on: August 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Workers from the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz and the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Business (HTSA) continue to mobilize around enduring contentions with their employers, including delayed wages.

August 29th marked the workers’ 12th day of consecutive striking and pressing for concessions from these two major industries in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

“Us Haft Tapeh workers pay the price when incompetent managers mess up,” one Haft Tapeh worker told HRANA. “We’re not going anywhere, and if the managers have something to say, let them come and say it to all of us. What kind of murderers are we being taken for when managers who don’t come to work force us to go to Ahvaz?”

Hamid Zarif-Khasraj, head of the local unit of the Shush County welfare and Shush labor office, told HRANA that 6,000 workers are owed three months in back wages, while some of the sugarcane cutters have been working without pay for five. He said his department was “looking into the case” to ensure the latter group gets compensated.

HTSA workers recently learned from their insurance print-outs that their company had changed hands, Zarif-Khasraj said. Concerns over company outsourcing and privatization have been central to the workers’ demands.

According to the country-wide workers’ group Free Labour Union of Iran (FULI), the Shush County governor and other authorities met with workers’ representatives on August 28th. They wanted the strikers to go back to work, but didn’t offer concrete guarantees, FULI said.

When the Shush County governor delivered an address to the workers on Wednesday, in which he made similarly vague promises, he was met with more protests.

Steelworker protest in Ahvaz: Day 11

On August 29th, workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz continued their 11th straight day of gathering before Khuzestan’s provincial governorate in protest.

“INSIG is dying by the hands of Bank Melli [its owner],” and “death to the oppressor” counted among slogans being chanted by the workers.

INSIG has been at a detrimental shortage of raw material, stalling both production and worker payroll. The company’s CEO Kasra Ghafoori had previously promised raw material by August 28th.

INSIG is a conglomerate employing about 4,000 workers who have not been paid in months. Long wage delays are what sparked initial protests on Saturday, August 18th, where workers demanded payment of four months’ back wages and a renewal of INSIG’s raw material supply.

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.