Iranian labor activist Ali Nejati was sentenced to “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian government.
Farzaneh Zilabi, the lawyer of the former head of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory Labor Union, said on Tuesday that her client was sentenced to disrupting public order for “leading the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers’ strike action and gatherings.”
Ali Nejati was detained on November 29 while the sugarcane workers were still on strike in the southern town of Shush.
Reports at the time indicated that he was violently detained and beaten upon arrest despite suffering from a serious heart condition.
The Judiciary said that he was arrested in relation to his previous records but his lawyer said that the two new charges were brought against him.
She said that the Iranian labor activist was initially taken to Dezful Prison and then to a security detention center in Ahvaz.
Mr. Nejati is suffering from numerous kidney and heart conditions. He was transferred to the hospital on December 14 but was quickly returned to the security section of Dezful Prison.
The Iranian labor activist was also detained in 2015 for participating in protests by the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers and was sentenced to prison.
Zilabi said that Judicial officials refused to implement the legal proceeding’s article 502 that allowed ailing prisoners to serve their prison term outside of prison or receive an alternative sentence.
Before this, Haft Tappeh labor activist Esmail Bakhshi, who was detained on November 19, was released from prison but new reports said that he was currently under house arrest and that his home was being monitored by the Revolutionary Guards Corps Intelligence Department.
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.