At 23:55 on Sunday 20 January, a large number of armed men in 15 SUV patrol cars descended on Esmail Bakhshi’s home and detained him.
Bakhshi is a representative of the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers, in southwest Iran, who have recently been in dispute over unpaid wages and control of the sugarcane complex. He was previously jailed on 18 November, and released on bail on 12 December.
Also on 20 January Sepideh Gholian, a journalist and social activist jailed with the workers on 18 November and released on bail on 18 December, was rearrested. Police came to her parental home to arrest her. Since they had no warrant for arresting Sepideh, her brother, Mehdi Gholian, resisted her arrest. The cops’ response was to beat him and then arrest both Mehdi and Sepideh.
Both Bakhshi and Gholian were mistreated in jail; the other Haft Tappeh workers do not know where they are being held, or even exactly which security agency arrested Bakhshi.
The last two of the 43 steelworkers in Ahvaz, also in southwest Iran, who were arrested on 16 December, were released on 19 January.
The Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign is campaigning for the freedom of Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh and Mehdi Gholian, and of Ali Nejati, a former union leader still being held in jail.