Human rights sources have reported that the families of labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and civil rights activist Sepideh Ghelian, have been left in the dark about their current condition a week after their last visit.
Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory labor representative Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Ghelian were detained 22 days ago on November 18 after protests by the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory workers in Shush.
According to a close source to the families of the two detainees, their families were informed that Mr. Bakhshi and Ms. Ghelian were beaten and mistreated during a family visit last Sunday.
“Since that day, Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Ghelian have not contacted their families. The fact that the families do not have any information about their condition and the refusal of security forces for them to see their lawyers despite orders from the Shush Prosecutor has aggravated their concerns”, the source added.
“Despite persistent inquiries by the Ghelian family and a letter from the Shush Prosecutor, security forces prevented them from revisiting their daughter and have not allowed her lawyer, Ms. Zilani to neither visit her or study her dossier,” the source added.
On Tuesday December 4, another labor activist was detained in Tehran in relation to Khuzestan’s workers’ protests. Assal Mohammadi, who is a student at the Tehran Azad University, was then taken to Shush and then to Ahvaz by security forces.
A source close to her family said that her family were finally able to visit her after many inquiries initially at the Shush Proseuctor’s office and then in Ahvaz.
There is also no news on a leading labor activist and former head of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory Trade Union, who was detained 11 days ago in the southwest province of Khuzestan.
Ali Nejati was detained on November 29 in his home with reports that he was beaten upon his arrest.
Workers of the Haft Tapperh Sugarcane Factory have in the past month staged strike action and rallies in protest to not being paid their wages, the privatization of the company and the detention of their colleagues.
Later reports said that all five were released after their families and activists gathered outside Tehran’s Evin Prison demanding their release.
Iran’s Labor Code does not grant citizens the right to form independent unions, despite Iran’s ratification of the UN’s International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and membership in the International Labor Organization.
Workers are regularly threatened, detained, tortured and even sentenced to flogging, despite their legitimate demands and protests to current conditions which has robbed them of more than 80% of their purchasing power.