67-year-old worker activist sentenced to lashes in Tehran

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A worker activist was sentenced to 74 lashes, five years of prison, and a fine of 2 million tomans (about $72) by the Tehran Appeals Court yesterday.

According to the Human Rights News Agency, the worker activist was identified as 67-year-old Esmail Gerami. Esmail was previously sentenced to 74 lashes, five years of prison, and a fine of 2 million tomans on June 9. He was arrested on March 7 among other activists for nationwide protests. He was released the next day.

On April 3, he was detained in his home and transferred to Evin prison. He was taken to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary five days later and has been there up to now.

Rouhzad, Esmail’s wife, said she had pursued his case with the Evin court, but she was not allowed to meet with the legal team. On May 16 she received a call from Esmail that he can be released on bail, but the court stalled and told her it will take another two weeks for the case to be processed.

Rouhzad expressed concern over her husband’s health, saying that he was 67 years old, and was only trying to get his unpaid wages and that of his colleagues.

Workers, among other sectors in Iran, are suffering from a deteriorating economy and can barely make ends meet.

Due to record lows of the national currency and economic problems, as well as corruption and mismanagement in Iran, the poverty line for a family of four has increased to 10 million tomans (around $364). The absolute poverty line is 6.8 million tomans (around $247), which puts 50% of the Iranian population, including many workers, under the line of “absolute poverty”.

More than 100 “offenses” are punishable by flogging under Iranian law. The offenses include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation, and fraud. They also cover acts that should not be criminalized, such as adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women, “breach of public morals” and consensual same-sex sexual relations.

Source » irannewswire

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