The Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Iran’s security and intelligence apparatus, in partnership with the judiciary, of harshly cracking down on dissent, including through excessive and lethal force against protesters.

The group also reported abuse and torture in detention.

“President Rouhani and his administration have shown little inclination to curb or confront these serious rights violations perpetrated by Iran’s security agencies,” HRW said in its report.

“Authorities at the highest level continue to greenlight these rampant abuses,” the report read.

Meanwhile, thousands of workers in Iran’s energy sector have held protests for better wages and working conditions in southern gas fields and some refineries in big cities, according to Iranian news agencies and social media postings.

With an economy tanked under the weight of US sanctions and the worst COVID-19 pandemic impact in the Middle East, Iran has faced nearly continuous protests by workers and pensioners for months over an inflation rate of more than 50%, high unemployment and unpaid wages.

An unspecified number of workers with temporary hiring contracts “stayed home” to press for higher wages earlier this week in Assaluyeh, Iran’s main gas production hub on the Gulf, the semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) reported.

“Since we learned of the labor actions and their salary and benefit demands… the issues are being seriously followed up in (parliament’s) Energy Commission,” Mousa Ahmadi, a lawmaker whose district includes Assaluyeh, told ILNA, Reuters reported.

According to rights groups and social media posts, Tehran’s refinery has fired 700 striking workers. A social media video showed refinery workers holding up what appeared to be notices of termination.

Shaker Khafai, spokesman for the state-run Tehran Oil Refining Company, denied the dismissal report, the state news agency IRNA reported.

Source » kimt