42 workers at AzarAb Industries, in Iran’s industrial city of Arak, have been sentenced to one year in prison, 74 lashes, and one month of forced labour.
That is for a protest in 2019 against delayed wage payments after the firm was privatised. Workers’ wages have again not been paid in May and June 2020.
Non-payment of wages is commonplace in Iran, and so is jailing of workers who protest,
On 23 May, however, charges against Esmail Bakhshi, Mohammad Khanifar and Ali Nejati were dropped as part of a wider amnesty granted at Eid by the government.
Esmail Bakhshi was a strike leader at the Haft Tappeh sugar cane complex in south-west Iran, and Solidarity has worked with Iranian activists in exile on many protests against his jailing.
Mohammad Khanifar is another worker at the complex, and Ali Nejati is a retired worker.
A new workers’ protest at Haft Tappeh, for overdue wages and for reinstatement of sacked workers, was held on 15 June.
• See bit.ly/protest42 for an appeal for letters of protest at the AzarAb jailings