A court in Iran sentenced 42 workers in the western city of Arak to lashes and prison for demanding their unpaid wages in a protest. The workers are from AzarAb Industries, a large manufacturing and construction company located in the western province of Markazi.
According to the state-run ILNA News Agency, the 106th Branch of the Arak Criminal Court sentenced each of the workers to 74 lashes and one year of prison in addition to a month of labor at the Arak railroad. The sentence can be appealed although workers and protesters are regularly sentenced to prison and lashes.
These workers had participated in a protest last year to demand their unpaid wages and an end to the company’s privatization.
Last October, around 40 AzarAb workers were arrested and beaten during a peaceful demonstration.
Security forces attacked the factory, where the workers had taken refuge, breaking the front windows. They also shot and took down the factory security cameras. They forced all the workers out of the factory with tear gas.
AzarAb Industries constructs power plants, petrochemical plants and sugar, oil and gas refineries.
The Iranian regime is one of the few states that still uses degrading punishments, even though all international civil and political rights conventions have prohibited the use of inhumane punishments such as execution and flogging.
At least five people were flogged in the first 10 days of June. The regime has increased its use of degrading and cruel punishment in an effort to quell the growing rage by Iranians who can barely make ends meet.