Written by Dowlat Nowrouzi
A Tehran court has sentenced a labour rights activist to 11 years and six months in jail and 74 lashes for taking part in a peaceful International Workers’ Day gathering in Tehran on May 1, according to the human rights group Iran Human Rights Monitor.
Atefeh Rangriz, a researcher, who is currently being held at Qarchak Prison in Varamin, stood trial on August 5.
The notorious Judge Mohammad Mogheiseh at Branch 28 of Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Rangriz and the sentence was handed to her defence lawyer on August 31.
Rangriz was one of 36 labour activists arrested during the peaceful gathering outside the Iranian parliament in Tehran, which was violently attacked by the Regime’s security and intelligence officials.
Rangriz was held in solitary confinement in section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison for several weeks and denied access to her family. After that, she was subjected to interrogations, where the authorities tried to pressure her to “confess” to planning protests intended to harm national security and denied access to a lawyer.
On July 8, following weeks of interrogation, she was taken to the prosecutor’s office in Evin prison and charged with “gathering and colluding against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system”, “disrupting public order” and “insulting officers on duty”.
She was moved to Qarchak Prison near Tehran in mid-June. On August 15, she penned an open letter describing the conditions in Qarchak Prison as “hell” and saying that each ward holds up to 150 inmates, while 12 prisoners are crammed into a “cabin” that is only 8 square meters.
While some of those arrested with Rangriz were released, others were given prison sentences, like journalist and student Marzieh Amiri who was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail and 148 lashes.
In related news, the Iranian courts also sentenced two Tehran Bus Company employees to prison and lashes for participating in the peaceful Labor Day protest.
Nasrin Javadi, a retired worker, was given seven years behind bars and 74 lashes, while current bus driver Rasoul Taleb Moghadam was given two years in prison, 74 lashes, two years in exile, and is banned from using a mobile phone.
Also, Parvin Mohammadi, vice president of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, was sentenced to one year in prison for “propaganda against the state” after attending a Labour Day protest in Karaj.
Over 80 labour unions worldwide have protested against the sentences given to the Iranian Labor Day demonstrators.
Elsewhere Saba Kord Afshari was sentenced to 24 years in prison for protesting the forced hijab and refusing to make a false confession.