Iran Human Rights (IHR); May 16, 2021: Farzaneh Zilabi, a lawyer representing the Workers Union of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company in Shush, Khuzestan, has been summoned to court on charges of “propaganda against the system and assembly and conspiracy to act against national security.” A number of lawyers have voiced their support for her in an issued a statement.
According to the Telegram channel of the Workers Union of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company, Farzaneh Zilabi, one of their lawyers, has been summoned to court on charges of propaganda against the system and assembly and conspiracy to act against national security.”
In a statement, the Union said the move was in line with the new round of pressure and new trumped-up charges against the Haft Tappeh workers.
In a joint statement issued on May 14, a group of lawyers criticised the move and stated that the recent case against Farzaneh is based on her “defending the Haft Tappeh workers’ just demands and carrying out her duties as a lawyer in defending some of the defendants in the case.”
Following the privatisation of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industrial Complex in 2015, workers started complaining and striking for their unpaid wages. Many workers and activists including Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Qolian were arrested in relation to the protests over the years. Farzaneh Zilabi has also previously been summoned for representing the Haft Tappeh workers on a number of occasions.
After six years of fighting for their rights, the head of the Supreme Audit Court of Iran announced last week that with “the support of the judiciary” the company had been nationalised and its ownership returned to public assets.
According to the Workers Union of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company, Ali Nejati, one of their workers who had previously been included in the 2020 Amnesty list, has been summoned to serve his sentence and his bank accounts have been frozen. Workers’ rights activist Hirad Pirbodaghi who had been sentenced to six months in prison for supporting the Haft Tappeh workers through the Campaign to Support Haft Tappeh Prisoners had also been pardoned by the judiciary, but was tricked into turning up to prison under the guise of picking up his confiscated belongings and transferred to the Evin Prison quarantine section.