Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Aug. 15, 2019 - A regime court in Iran held a session for ten workers of the Haft Tapeh sugar cane company workers in Shush, Khuzestan Province of southwest Iran. The mullahs’ so-called judiciary has issued an indictment against workers charged with taking part in the fall 2018 strikes and protests. On Tuesday, another seven workers of this company were each sentenced to eight months behind bars and 30 lashes.
Workers of the Haft Tapeh sugar mill, located in Shush, Khuzestan, held a month-long protest in November 2018. The workers began their demonstration at the entrance of the factory and marched toward the office of the mayor of Shush.
The workers of Haft Tapeh, also on strike, were demanding the payment of months-overdue wages and the removal of the private owners of the company who have pushed the country toward bankruptcy. Haft Tapeh is the largest sugarcane factory in Iran and employs thousands of workers. The current conditions of the factory threaten the livelihoods of these workers and their families.
The workers were also demanding the release of their arrested colleagues. In recent weeks, instead of responding to the demands of the workers, the Iranian regime’s security forces cracked down on the workers and arrested several of the protesters. Security forces attacked the home of one of the members of the workers' syndicate and arrested him.
But despite the threats of the Iranian regime, the workers of Haft Tapeh continued to take to the streets day after day. The workers of Haft Tapeh were shouting, “Imprisoned workers must be freed.”
The Haft Tapeh workers syndicate had issued a statement warning about plots and schemes by the Iranian regime to involve the Basij and IRGC to steer the protests into other directions. This is a tactic that the regime has employed in past days. “We will protest until we evict the private owners of the factory,” the statement reads.
As they persist in their demands, the workers of Haft Tapeh continue to earn the respect and support of people in Iran and across the world. The General Confederation of Labor in France declared its support for the demands of the workers of Haft Tapeh and called for the release of the detained workers.
The families of the victims of political prisoners executed by the Iranian regime in the 1980s had also expressed their support for the workers of the Haft Tapeh. The relatives of political prisoners held signs that called for an end to tyranny and demanded the release of Esmail Bakhshi, the representative of Haft Tapeh who has been detained by the regime’s security forces.