Iranian authorities threaten striking truck drivers with execution, arrest dozens
The Iranian authorities have arrested at least 150 truck drivers in various provinces for participating a nationwide strike, which has been ongoing for days in protest against the low and unpaid wages, the high cost of parts, and rising costs in the context of a deteriorating economic situation nationally.
Responding to the nationwide strike, the regime’s judiciary officials and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are continuously resorting to threats of arrests and executions.
Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri threatened to execute the strike organizers on charges of “threatening national security.”
“According to the information we have, in some routes, some of the cities, there are elements who are provoking some of the truckers, or possibly blocking them and creating problems for them. They are subject to the rules and regulations of banditry and the punishment of the bandits according to the law is very severe, sometimes resulting in the death penalty,” he said on September 29th as cited by Iranian regime state media.
At the same time, Ali al-Qasimehr, the chief justice of the Fars Province, accused the strikers of “corruption on earth,” and IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Sharafi, one of the commanders of State Security Forces, threatened the protesters with harsh action.
However, two days earlier, the Fars Province Transportation Director General had called the strike of truck drivers as rumors.
“It’s been a few days that rumors about truck drivers’ strike have been circulating in the media and cyberspace. This misuse of the opponents from the needs of the truck drivers to create crisis in the country is clear for every Iranian,” he sais, as reported by the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency.
IRGC Colonel Kavos Mohammadi, a deputy of the Fars provincial police force, described the strikers as “disrupters of the order.”
“Following the disrupting acts of some of these people on the roads of Fars … After the visible and invisible patrol of officers, 22 thugs and disrupters of public order on the roads were arrested and, after filing a case, they were sent to the judiciary authorities and through them to the prisons. Police will deal with sensitivity and vigilance with the smallest insecurity factors in coordination with the judiciary, and the process of confronting with the disrupters of order and security of the roads and axes of Fars province will continue on a daily basis. The police monitor and control all the roads in this province, visibly and invisibly, and resolutely deal with all elements of disrupters of order and security in these areas,” he explained to the regime’s official IRNA news agency.
The nationwide truck drivers’ strike in Iran, has entered its second week, extended to all provinces despite the arrest of dozens of them and the threats of the judiciary to execute some on charges of “threatening national security.”
Footage on social media shows hundreds of trucks parked in Tehran, Isfahan, Zrin Shahr, Droud, Arak, Marvdasht, Garmsar, Karan, Zarand, Marand, Kashan, Bandar Abbas and Mashhad.
In an international solidarity initiative, truck drivers in the Netherlands went out in a demonstration driving their trucks in the streets in solidarity with the truck drivers’ strike in Iran.
In a statement released on October 2, the International Transport Workers’ Federation expressed concern over the arrests and death threats against the truckers by the Iranian regime. ITF head of inland transport Noel Coard said: “We are very concerned about the situation. Let it be clear that ITF unions globally voice their solidarity and stand alongside the truckers of Iran in their fight to defend workers’ rights.”