Call for Immediate and Unconditional Release of Mr. Esmail Bakhshi, Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers Representative.
Esmail Bakhshi has been reportedly beaten and tortured
According to reports that IASWI has received and also reported on telegram channels of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate, Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Committee to Help form Workers’ Organizations, the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers Organizations and other independent workers’ organizations in Iran, Esmail Bakhshi, a well-known and courageous representative of Haft Tapeh sugarcane worker was severely beaten and tortured after his arrest by security and intelligent forces, specifically his head and face were repeatedly hit and punched; as a result, his face has been all bruised and swollen. Mr. Bakhshi’s has also been suffering from internal bleeding since then. According to the same sources, authorities had to transfer Mr. Bakhshi to a high security hospital, possibly in city of Ahvaz. There has been no news since his transfer from jail to hospital; he is reportedly a subject of interrogation and torture, and until this moment there has been no further information on him. After the news of Esmail Bakhshi’s torture and beatings published by the IASWI and other labour organizations, which received considerable mainstream and social media attention, authorities of the judiciary system as well as the Governor of Khuzestan Province have hastily denied the reports but refused to call for an independent inquiry and have insisted on keeping Esmail Bakhshi in prison based on sham “security” charges.
Based on the reports, in order to counter, intimidate and repress Haft Tapeh workers’ protests, security and intelligence forces have resorted to intense interrogation as well as psychological and physical persecuting of Bakhshi, repeatedly asking him to confess to sham “national security” charges against him. Esmail Bakhshi has reportedly bravely and courageously withstood these torturous methods of interrogation and resisted to all intelligence forces’ demands and not accepted any of the phony “national security” charges. The reports indicate that despite significant bodily damage, Esmail Bakhshi’s spirit is strong and he is still decisively defending the demands and rights of Haft Tapeh workers.
Esmail Bakhshi and other workers’ representatives and labour activists are the cherished and dear descendants of the working class in Iran and no amount of repression or intimidation will stop workers’ protests and struggles, but only further intensify workers’ discontent and anger. All the so called “national security” charges against Mr. Bakhshi and other labour activists are desperate attempts and last straws of a failing system. Esmail Bakhshi is bold and defiant and workers in Iran will not cease until his release.
IASWI is warning the Islamic Republic of Iran in strongest terms, against any forms of torture, harassment or intimidation of Esmail Bakhshi. We are mobilizing our resources and call on all international labour and progressive organizations to bring about worldwide attention, and pressure Islamic Republic of Iran for the immediate and unconditional freedom of Esmail Bakhshi and other jailed labour activists in Iran including Ali Nejati, a member of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate, who has been violently arrested on November 29, 2018.
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)
November 30, 2018
PLEASE SEND PROTEST LETTERS to the electronic addresses below: Please also send them via the Iranian diplomatic representatives accredited to your country, if there is an Iranian diplomatic mission in your country. Although Iranian embassies’ addresses change frequently, please see the link below which might help: https://www.embassypages.com/iran
- Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
- President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and
- The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran – High Council of Human Rights
- Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Governor of Shush: firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor-General of Khuzestan Province: email@example.com