Reactions to alleged torture of labor activist in Iran

Reactions to alleged torture of labor activist in Iran
ID : N-3904 Date : 2019/01/06 - 10:35

(Persia Digest) – Thirty-four student organizations in Iran have written a letter to the Intelligence Minister asking for a debate to elucidate the demands of Esmail Bakhshi, trade unionist of Haft Tappeh factory, during his detention.

Esmail Bakhshi is a worker and representative of the independent works council at the Union of Workers for Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Cultivation Factory. He was arrested in November 2018 during pickets in Khuzestan Province, southwestern Iran. Esmaeil played a pivotal role in organizing the workers’ protests in Haft Tappeh.

He was convicted by the Iranian judicial authorities with charges such as "assembly and collusion against national security" and was freed on bail set at tomans 400MM on Wednesday 12 December.

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On 29 November, reports of Esmaeil being tortured in prison and his transfer to hospital had been made.

Following his release, Esmaeil Bakhshi posted a message on his Instagram on Friday 4 January 2019 confirming that he had been tortured in prison. He invited Seyed Mahmoud Alavi, Intelligence Minister of Iran, to a television debate on the torture of prisoners.

Bakhshi also mentioned that his phone calls and those of his family were tapped by security agents and added that he had been submitted to exorbitant physical and mental torture in the first days of his detention.

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Social media users reacting to Bakhshi’s message led Mohammad Kazemi, the Parliament’s Judicial and Legal Affairs Committee member and representative, to open a case file in this Committee to investigate his claims. Kazemi had confirmed that torture was banned under the IR of Iran Constitution, saying that if Bakhshi’s claims were proved the accused must be called to answer.

Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Motahari, also released a note asking the Intelligence Minister to answer Esmaeil Bakhshi’s claims.

Khuzestan Governor, Gholamreza Shariati, however, has refuted Esmaeil Bakhshi’s claims of torture.

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