In an unexpected development six political prisoners have been freed on bail in Iran on Saturday, October 26, including labor activist Sepideh Qolian who ended a week-long hunger strike yesterday.
Three other prisoners who were arrested last year in the Haft-Tapeh Sugar Factory protests, where Qolian was involved were among those freed. Two more activists were arrested during May, in International Labor Day gathering in Tehran.
The activists were kept in two notorious prisons, Tehran’s Evin prison and Qarchak, near the capital. Thy were freed on heavy bails on a temporary basis until their trials are completed. The highest bail was set at 15 billion rials or more than $130,000; an astronomical amount for ordinary Iranians.
Two more well-known labor activists, Esmail Bakhshi and Asal Mohammadi who were arrested during labor protests last year are still in prison. Also, others arrested during the May Labor Day event are still in prison.
Bakhsi and Qolian were both tortured when they were first arrested in December 2018.
The freed activists have all received long prison sentences, but they have appealed the verdicts.
Labor activist Sepideh Qolian who was tortured in custody in 2018 smiles after her release.