New Wave of Arrests of Labor Activists in Iran
In the last few days, several labor activists in Iran have been arrested. This appears to be a new campaign of intimidation by the intelligence operatives against the independent labor activists.
Alireza Akhavan, a labor activists with the Iranian Labor Rights Defense Center, was arrested on June 3. He was visited by the intelligence forces at his home, his house searched, and taken to an unknown location.
Saeed Torabian, the head of public relations with the Tehran and Municipality Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate, was similarly arrested on June 9 at his home.
On June 12, Reza Shahabi, another board member with the syndicate, was arrested at his work place.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran report on the arrest of Mehdi Farrahi Shandiz, another labor activist, on June 1. Shandiz was one of the labor activists arrested during the May Day ceremonies of 2009 in Tehran. Paying a visit to the branch 8 of the revolutionary court to collect his personal belongings, he was met with “inhumane treatment” which led to his protest. He was then taken to the notorious Kahrizak prison in south of Tehran under baseless accusations of disturbing the peace. He has not been heard since from his family. Kahrizak is known for the brutal treatment of arrested protesters last year which led to death of at least four of them under torture. Shandiz is a contracting teacher who was arrested before the May Day event last year and spent 9 months in prison.