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Jailed Labor Activist's Lawyer Called To Court As 'Pressure Tactic'

Esmail Bakhshi , a Haft Tapeh Sugar Factory Activist who was arrested in November and after his release complained of torture.

Reports from Iran say that Farzaneh Zeylabi lawyer of jailed labor representative Esmail Bakhshi has been called to court as a “witness” or “source of information”.

Esmail Bakhshi is the spokesperson of the Haft Tapeh sugar mill workers who were on strike and protesting in November-December 2018. He was arrested first in November and after his release claimed he was tortured. Days later, on January 20 he was arrested again and there is scant news about his situation. A civil rights activist who had attested to Bakhshi’s torture was also arrested on the same day.

A social media account speaking on behalf of the sugar mill workers quoted Zeylaby she has been called to appear at court on Sunday. She added that this is a tactic “to put pressure on the attorney of a case”, as attorneys have immunity in regard with information related to their client.” She added that revealing client information is a violation of the law.

The Family of Bakhshi and his attorney have demanded access to him in prison. Earlier in the week workers raised alarm about his health saying that he had a preexisting condition in addition to the lingering effects of the alleged torture.

Hundreds of activists and international human rights defenders have demanded Bakhshi’s release.