Iran: Attack & Arrest protesting AzarAb workersPublished by Tirdad on October 22, 2019
Iranian security forces attacked and arrested dozens of peaceful protesting workers of Azarab factory in the city of Arak, on 20 AND 21 October.
The workers were from AzarAb Industries, a large manufacturing and construction company located in the city of Arak, in the western province of Markazi, west of the capital city, Tehran.
The workers have continued the new round of their protests since 9 October, against Government-linked groups that are taking control over their factory under the pretext of “privatization,” leaving many of these workers unemployed and others going on for months without being paid.
After Sunday’s peaceful protest and the arrest of protesters, workers once again gathered on Monday in the factory grounds demanding the release of detained workers, chanting “Detained workers must be released!”
Security forces attacked the factory, where the workers had taken refuge, at 3 pm in the afternoon, using batons and firing tear gas. They also shot and took down the factory security cameras.
Many workers were injured. The state security forces even resorted to break windows of the factory and vehicles parked in the area.
It should be mentioned that, the security forces also went to the hospital and detained injured AzarAb workers.
The state-run ILNA news agency on 21 October, confirmed the arrest of a “number” of workers though unofficial reports indicate that around 40 workers were detained.
ILNA reported yesterday that workers were “physically dealt with” by the police.
According to ILA, AzarAb Industries constructs power plants, petrochemical plants and sugar, oil and gas refineries.
The Iranian regime has stepped up its crackdown against peaceful protesters.
According to the reports by the International Liberty Association, Iran’s Labour Code does not grant citizens the right to form independent unions, despite Iran’s ratification of the UN’s International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and membership in the International Labour Organization.
Regarding the peaceful gatherings, ILA also would like to mention that, according to Article 27 of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution, “Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided weapons are not carried and a gathering is not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.”
However, peaceful labour activism in Iran is treated as a national security offense and retaliated with an iron fist.