Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Dec. 30, 2018 - On Saturday, families, and colleagues of the workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group arrested by security forces gathered in front of the Khuzestan province governor's office and protested to the continued incarceration of their coworkers and loved ones. The protesters held banners which read: “Imprisoned workers must be freed” and “Workers don’t belong in prison.”
The banners also read “Resistance economy, workers in prison.” The slogan was a mockery of resistance economy, a term coined by Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime, his declared strategy to supposedly protect the Iranian people against international sanctions imposed on his regime for its illicit activities.
According to the demonstrators, after 14 days, Iranian authorities haven’t yet determined the sentences and exact whereabouts of the detained steel workers of Ahvaz.
On December 17, Iranian security forces raided the homes of Ahvaz steelworkers in the middle of the night and arrested dozens. The workers of the steel factory had been on strike and demonstrating for more than a month in protest to unpaid wages and corrupt policies of the company’s private owners.
The Iranian regime has put these workers behind bars just because they had stood up for their most basic rights.
Protests by the families of detained steelworkers of Ahvaz
Protests by the families of detained steelworkers of Ahvaz in front of the Khuzestan governors office
INSIG is one of Iran’s largest producers and exporters of steel products. The factory employs thousands of workers, and without their wages, the workers can't provide the livelihoods of their families. During their protests and strikes, the steel workers of Ahvaz earned the respect and support of many communities across Iran and across the world.
Fearful that the continued protests of the steel workers of Ahvaz would trigger similar strikes and demonstrations in other parts of Iran, the Iranian regime tried to quell the protests by cracking down on the workers and arresting them. But not having achieved their demands, it is only a matter of time before the workers of Ahvaz and thousands of other workers around Iran who have been deprived of their most basic rights will return to the streets to challenge the tyrannical regime that is the source of their miseries.