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Security forces raid houses of Ahvaz steel workers, arrest many

The workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group, striking and protesting in the past 38 days
The workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group, striking and protesting in the past 38 days

Reported by PMOI/MEK


Iran, Dec. 17, 2018 - On Monday, the Free Workers Union of Iran declared that during a nightly raid, the security forces of the Iranian regime have arrested at least 11 workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz who had been protesting for their rights for over a month.

“According to reports sent by the workers of INSIG, last night, security agents staged a widespread attack against the houses of workers of this industrial complex. The raid continued until 2:00 am and at least 11 of the workers were arrested,” a statement by the Union reads.

During the raid, which was conducted without an arrested warrant, security agents attacked many houses but only succeeded in apprehending 11 workers. Many of the workers who weren’t at their homes at the time of the attacks could not be apprehended. Many of the workers had to spend the night in the streets to avoid arrest.

The names of the detained workers are as follows:

  • Maysam Ali Qanavati
  • Issa Mari
  • Amin Alvani
  • Morteza Akbarian
  • Tareq Khalfi
  • Massoud Afri
  • Jaffar Sobhani
  • Mostafa Abyat
  • Qarib Howeyzavi
  • Karim Siahi
  • Hamed Judaki

The attacks took place while the steelworkers of Ahvaz have been on strike for the past 38 days and have been demanding their overdue paychecks, improvement of work conditions and other basic rights.

Unable and unwilling to respond to their demands, the Iranian regime has instead resorted to cracking down on them and arresting them to intimidate the workers and force them to back down from their rights. According to reports by the Workers Union, security forces entered the Ahvaz steel company this morning and after declaring the arrests, they threatened to arrest other workers if they continued their protests and demonstrations.

For the workers of Ahvaz, who have been deprived of their most legitimate and basic rights for an extended period of time, such threats are becoming increasingly ineffective. On Monday, the workers returned to the streets of Ahvaz to resume their protests.

The Workers Union condemned the arrest of the workers and called on all workers in Ahvaz and across Iran, students, and human rights organizations across the world to take immediate action and support the protests and demands of Ahvaz steelworkers.

“The victory of the workers of the national steel group of Ahvaz is the victory of the workers and people of Iran against tyranny,” the statement by the Union reads.