On their 21st day of strikes, the workers of Haft Tapeh sugarcane mill gathered on Sun. Nov 25 again in front of the mayor’s office in Shush, in Iranian province of Khuzestan, to protests against unpaid wages, the imprisonment of their colleagues and the mismanagement of the factory by private owners.
Haft Tapeh is Iran’s largest sugarcane factory. The workers began their protests earlier this month, demanding the payment of their due of several months. They are also demanding the removal of private owners of the company who have pushed the factory towards bankruptcy. In response, the Iranian regime dispatched security forces and arrested several of the protesters.
On Sunday, the workers of Haft Tapeh were chanting, “Jailed workers must be freed.” The workers also voiced their support and solidarity with the workers of Ahvaz Steel factory, who are holding similar protests over their unpaid wages.
The workers also called out the names of the private owners and called for their ouster. It’s said that the relatives of Hassan Rouhani’s deputy president Jahangiri have been managing the factory. The support for the factory workers has grown and the steel factory of Ahvaz, people of Shoosh, the university students, mine workers in Isfahan and a number of political prisoners have expressed support for the workers of Haft Tapeh which is the frightening factor for the Iranian regime.
Shahrzad Nazifi, a motocross champion, was arrested on Sunday, November 18, by security forces in Tehran and taken to Evin Prison because of her Baha’I faith.The security agents went to Ms. Nazifi’s house and after about 5 hours of inspections, they seized some of her personal belongings, including books, cell phone, and laptop.
In another report on Tuesday, November 20, Bahai’s citizens Sepideh Keshavarz, Mahvash Edalati (Za’eri), Shabnam Essakhani, Anousheh Rayeneh were either arrested or sentenced.
Baha'i women, Monica Alizadeh (Aghdassi) in Tabriz, and Nasrin Khajeh and Mojgan Khoshhal in Isfahan, and May Kholousi and her daughter, Saghi Fadaii, were arrested in October.
Baha’i women and citizens are systematically deprived of their human rights by the Iranian regime while according to article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
Between Nov 4 and 14 of 2018, Seven Iranian women committed suicide in Tehran, and in cities of Fereydoon Kenar, Urmia, Sardasht, Oshnavieh and Likak in northern and western Iran, due to poverty and economic problems. From March to the end of October, 80 suicides of Iranian girls and women have been registered.
According to the annual statistics released by the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine in September 2018, in Iran, women's suicide rates in 2017 alone were more than 1,365 people, at least 4 women per day. According to the World Health Organization, the suicide rate of Iran in 2014 was 5,3 in every 100,000 people. Iranian women are more vulnerable to suicide than other groups in the society. In 2007, Iran ranked the third country in which women were outnumbering men in committing suicide. According to a study published in 2008, women's suicide rate in Iran was double that of men.