Four Iranian student and labor activists have written an open letter to denounce the intelligence forces’ harsh treatment of student and labor activists and journalists, which includes issuing heavy sentences for them.
The authors of the September letter are Sanaz Allahyari, Asal Mohammadi, Marzieh Amiri, and Neda Naji, who are all presently incarcerated in Evin Prison.
They wrote: “Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court issued heavy sentences of 10.5 to 18 years of imprisonment for them based on recommendations of intelligence officials overseeing the case, without paying the slightest attention to the defendants and their lawyers’ defense. In examining the cases, they discriminate against labor and civil activists, to disappoint the defendant of any justice and to force them to gamble on their lives.”
Their views about solidarity are summarised in this sentence: “We believed the workers’ legitimate demands are our own and supported them.”
Now, we will give you an idea about why these four were arrested.
Allahyari and her husband Amir Hossein Mohammadifard are journalists and members of the editorial board of GAM internet magazine, which focuses on social issues, including the workers’ rights. They were arrested on January 2019.
Naji is another labor activist, who was arrested on the International Labor Day in Tehran. She was recently beaten by prison guards in the notorious Qarchak Prison, suffering several strikes to the head and getting blurry vision.
Amiri is a student and labor activist, who wrote about workers’ rights in the Sharq newspaper. She was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison and 147 lashes. At the time of her interrogation, Amiri was suffering from epileptic seizures due to physical and psychological pressures but was denied temporary release for medical treatment.
Mohammadi was arrested for taking part in the protests by sugarcane workers of the Haft Tappeh factory. She was beaten by the Ministry of Intelligence agents when she was arrested and her location was unknown.
In a related matter, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran called the bail depositor for labor activist Nahid Khodajoo, who was also arrested during International Labor Day protests, saying that Khodajoo should report to this branch. This summoning method is illegal, even under the clerical regime’s bizarre laws, because the court must contact the accused person directly.
This is the second time that the Revolutionary Court of Tehran has summoned Khodajoo in this manner, which the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says is to “impose psychological pressure on her”.