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Amnesty International Demands 'Immediate Release' Of Labor Activists

Amnesty International official, Raha Bahreini. File photo
Amnesty International official, Raha Bahreini. File photo

Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International’s researcher on Iran has characterized the second arrest of two labor activists in Iran as an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear and panic to prevent pro-labor activism.

In an interview with Radio Farda on January 21, Bahreini also criticized the airing of a film by Iran’s state TV showing “confessions” of the two activists; Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Qolian.

After the broadcast of the film made by intelligence organs in prison, both Bakhshi and Qolian insisted that the mere self-incriminating confessions prove their earlier accusations of torture in custody.

The activists were first arrested in november during labor protests in Haft-Tappeh Sugar Cane plant and released in December. In early January they accused intelligence agents of torturing them during their detention.

Bahreini stressed that Amnesty International is concerned about the well-being of the two activists and added, “They face the danger of more torture and mistreatment”.

The human rights researcher also highlighted that Amnesty is asking Iranian officials to release Bakhshi and Qolian immediately and create conditions whereby workers can express their demands in an amicable atmosphere.