Iran’s judiciary has requested death sentences for 17 striking truckers for taking part in a nationwide strike, the state media reported on October 8.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted the head of the Qazvin Court as saying, “The judiciary will without any tolerance deal with those who disrupt the security of drivers and also those who intend to take advantage (of the strike) and create insecurity.”
In a meeting in Qazvin, Mohsen Karami added that truck drivers’ problems “would not be solved with strikes”.
“In the past few weeks, we witnessed a number of people attacking truck drivers in the province”, he said in reference to truck drivers who were trying to prevent other drivers from breaking the strike.
“We have apprehended 17 of these people and they have been handed over the Judiciary for legal processing,” the head of Qazvin Court added.
He said that they had requested the capital punishment and that if it was proven that they were “moharebs”, enemies of God, they would be sentenced to heavy punishments such as death.
The truck drivers’ nationwide strike has continued into the third consecutive week, the regime’s judiciary officials and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are continuously resorting to threats of arrests and executions.
In his remarks aired by the state TV on September 29, the attorney general Mohammad Ali Montazeri threatened strikers to “severe punishments and executions,” saying, “Based on our information, there are individuals seen in various paths of some cities, provoking truck drivers and causing problems for them during their commuting. These individuals will be considered criminals and thieves, and they will be punished according to the law. In some cases, it will lead to their execution.”
Ali Alqasi-Mehr, judiciary chief in Fars Province of south-central Iran, accused the protesting truck drivers of “corruption on earth.”
Mohammad Sharafi, a high ranking state-police official, also resorted to voicing serious threats against the truck drivers, according to state-TV.
On Thursday, a road and transportation official of Fars Province ridiculously claimed the truck drivers’ strike is nothing but rumors.
“There have been rumors for the past few days, spread in various outlets and social media, claiming truck drivers are on strike. This is nothing but dissidents taking advantage of the drivers’ needs in order to create a crisis in our country and their methods are quite obvious for all Iranians,” the official said as cited by the state-run Fars news agency.
IRGC Colonel Kavos Mohammadi, a police force deputy of the Fars provincial, described the protesting truck drivers as “disrupters of order.”
“Following the disrupting acts of some of these people on the roads of Fars Province… 22 thugs and disrupters of public order were arrested and, after filing a case, they were sent to judiciary authorities and eventually placed behind bars. Police will deal with sensitivity and vigilance with the smallest insecurity factors in coordination with the judiciary, and the process of confronting with disrupters of order and road security in Fars Province will continue on a daily basis. The police monitor and control all the roads in this province and resolutely deal with all individuals disrupting order and security in these areas,” he added in remarks wired by the state-run IRNA news agency.
Iranian regime has taken various measures to intimidate striking truck drivers into quitting the strike which has crippled Iran’s transportation activities. Reports from various cities indicate that more than 200 truckers have been detained all over Iran during the 18-day strike which has spread to more than 300 cities and all of Iran’s 31 provinces.
Regime officials also acknowledged the arrest of truckers. The head of Fars province judiciary announced the arrest of 35 drivers and the head of Isfahan judiciary announced the arrest of 13 drivers. The commander of police of Khorasan Razavi province announced the arrest of 77 people on the roads in Khorasan Razavi, Izeh and Hamedan, police commander of Lorestan province announced the arrest of 12 “disturbers”, and state media reported the arrest of 20 protest truckers in the province of Alborz, 25 in the Qazvin province, 12 in Kermanshah and 6 in the Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari, 5 in Zanjan, two in Kangan, three truckers in Bukan, three in Tehran, and four truckers In Nahavand.
All of the country’s 31 provinces have witnessed truckers strike during the past weeks, protesting low paychecks, skyrocketing prices for spare parts and tires, and authorities refusing to respond to the truckers’ righteous demands. This strike, despite all the obstacles, has been able to continue in the face of numerous threats and plots launched by Iranian regime authorities. The truckers were specifically seen continuing their strike in the cities of Shiraz, Bushehr, Isfahan, Assad Abad, Borujen, Kashan, Khorramabad, Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Malayer, Saveh, Yazd, Mobarakeh, Fouladshahr, Zanjan and Hamedan.