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5 December 2018

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Workers defy brutal Iran regime

2018 Workers Day protests in Iran, photo Armin Karami/CC

2018 Workers Day protests in Iran, photo Armin Karami/CC   (Click to enlarge)

The last issue of the Socialist reported on the tremendous struggle of thousands of sugar cane workers at Haft Tapeh in Khuzestan province, south Iran, who have been on strike since 5 November.

Initially their fight was over unpaid wages, but it has broadened into a struggle against the tyrannical state regime.

On 18 November, armed state security forces arrested 18 workers - members of the workers' council of Haft Tapeh - and Sepideh Gholiyan, a 23-year-old university student and citizen journalist.

After pressure from the workers their families and members of the public, the authorities were forced to free most of the workers but they kept Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholiyan in custody.

Esmail Bakhshi has been a key figure in uniting, organising and leading the workers and the strike. He and Sepideh Ghliyan are denied any visits.

On 29 November, Esmail was admitted to hospital with life threatening injuries as a result of brutal torture - stomach bleeding and bruises all over his body.

On the same day state forces also raided the home of Ali Nejati, a member of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Syndicate and brutally beat him up in front of his family and took him and his son, Peyman Nejati, away.

The arrests happened while the striking workers and members of the public were in the streets demanding the release of the imprisoned workers.

Supporters of the Haft Tapeh workers are demanding their release and calling for international trade union support.

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Article dated 5 December 2018

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