Accessibility links

Breaking News

Detained Labor Leader Faints In Prison Meeting With Family

Esmail Bakhshi, a representative of Haft Tapeh workers (R), and civil rights activist Sepideh Qolian, undated.

Union of Haft Tapeh Sugar Mill Workers say that their labor leader Esmail Bakhshi fainted during a meeting with his family in prison.

Bakhsi was arrested a second time in January for complaining that he was tortured when he was first detained last November. Since his arrest his family and coworkers have voiced repeated concerns about his well-being in prison and his possible torture.

The workers’ union quoted Bakhshi’s lawyer February 24 as saying, “My client is under such a tremendous pressure that today during his meeting with family he fainted and according to their statement, for a few minutes they saw the specter of his death, but fortunately he regained consciousness”.

The union had reported last week that Bakhshi and Sepideh Qolian, an activist arrested at the same time are under pressure in prison to “confess” and sign a “remorse letter”.

Haft Tapeh workers went on strike last October for unpaid wages and work conditions, which also led to many protests in the city of Shush in southwestern oil-rich province of Khuzestan. Bakhshi and Qolian were arrested in mid-November and released in December. In January they both went on record on social media complaining of torture during their incarceration.

During his second detention Bakhshi is now being charged for “insulting officials and propaganda against the regime”.