The Syndicate of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Workers, an independent labor group, reported on Monday, June 1 that one of its members, Rasoul Taleb Moghaddam, was arrested to be punished by 74 lashes.
Taleb Moghaddam, who was among dozens arrested on the International Labor Day, May 1, 2019, in Tehran, surrendered himself at Tehran's notorious Evin prison on Monday.
Before surrendering, Taleb Moghaddam was repeatedly threatened to either report to law enforcement or have his bail confiscated.
Whipping people convicted of illegal acts is common in the Islamic Republic. Human rights organizations have condemned the practice but judges routinely hand out the punishment along with imprisonment.
After being punished by 74 lashes behind bars in Evin, Taleb Moghaddam was transferred to Evin Prison's quarantine ward with poor physical conditions, the bus drivers' union said.
In August 2019, Rasool Taleb Moghadam was sentenced at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court to 74 lashes, two years in prison, and two years internal exile.
Meanwhile, the independent union has demanded the immediate release of Taleb Moghaddam and all labor activists.
Iran has been gripped by labor unrest in the past three years as economic conditions have worsened, with unpaid wages and high inflation propelling workers to protest. Tehran’s bus drivers have often been at the forefront of labor advocacy and many of them have spent time in prison.
Hundreds of workers and labor rights advocates had held a rally in front of Majles (the Islamic Republic parliament) on May 1, 2019, in Tehran to celebrate the international Labor Day when the security forces rushed in and detained dozens of them.
The Islamic Republic does not recognize independent trade unions and supports the so-called "official syndicates" dominated by its loyalists.