Iran Human RightsIranian Labor Activist Flogged and Taken to Prison on...

Iranian Labor Activist Flogged and Taken to Prison on June 1

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Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, one of the drivers of Iran's Vahed Bus Company

By Jubin Katiraie

An Iranian labor activist was flogged by the Iranian authorities yesterday and taken to begin his jailed sentence without being given medical attention.

Rasoul Taleb Moghadam was lashed 74 times and taken immediately to Evin Prison despite how injured he was, according to the Human Rights News Agency.

He had been sentenced by a Tehran Revolutionary Court to:

  • 74 lashes
  • two years in prison
  • two years of exile in Southern Khorasan province
  • a two-year ban on membership in groups
  • a two-year ban on using a cellphone

The Tehran bus driver, who was a member of the Sherkate Vahed Tehran Bus Union, was arrested during a peaceful Labor Day protest on May 1, 2019. He was charged with “spreading propaganda against the state” and “disrupting public order”.

In a related case, the Iranian regime handed down three flogging sentences in Isfahan to people accused of stealing a statue from Isfahan’s Darvazeh Dolat Square.

The trio was sentenced to 74 lashes each and prison, but the sentence can still be appealed.

Iran is one of only a few countries that still use these cruel and unusual punishments, even though they are banned under all international civil and political rights conventions, which describe flogging as torture.

The regime routinely hands out flogging sentences to protesters, dissidents, those charged with non-violent crimes like theft, and those charged with “morality” offenses like adultery.

In September 2019 alone, at least 91 protesters were sentenced to flogging in Iran. This included:

  • 21-year-old female student activist Parisa Rafiei, who was charged with assembly and collusion, spreading propaganda against the state and disrupting public order. She was also sentenced o seven years in prison, a two-year travel ban, and a ban on membership in political groups.
  • Hamidreza Rahmati, a teacher and member of the Isfahan Teachers’ Association, was charged with “disrupting public order by carrying out an abnormal act outside the Education Department building” and “sending messages on social media that encouraged violence” for holding a solitary nine-day sit-in. He was also sentenced to three years in prison and a $600 fine.
  • Haft Tappeh labor activist Ismail Bakhshi, who was charged with “assembly and collusion to act against national security”, “insulting the leader”, “publishing lies”, “spreading propaganda against the state” and “disrupting public order” for protests over long-delayed wages. He was also sentenced to 14 years of prison
  • Yusef Jalil, who was charged with“insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic” and “spreading propaganda against the state by disrupting public opinion” for publishing content in his Telegram group. He was also sentenced to six months of prison.

 

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