Nasrin Javadi, a trade union activist in Iran, has begun serving a seven-year prison sentence that she and activists have slammed as retribution for her labor agitation.
The Free Union of Iranian Workers said in a statement on June 30, that Javadi was ordered to report to prison on July 2, following 'numerous summonses and pressure from the authorities.'
Javadi, 64, was first arrested on May 1, 2019, when she attended a workers' protest rally in front of parliament in Tehran. She was released from Qarchak prison on May 29 that year after posting bail.
Since then, the labor activist has been sentenced to a total of seven years in prison and 74 lashes by the Revolutionary Court for charges including 'gathering and conspiring to act against the security of the country,' 'disturbing public order and peace,' and 'propaganda against the regime."
Activists and human rights groups have condemned the charges, saying Javadi has been persecuted for her labor activism.
In the past, Javadi's lawyer had submitted medical documents to court showing she suffers from "numerous illnesses" that make it impossible for her to serve time in prison.
Labor protests in Iran have been on the rise amid declining living standards, wage arrears, and a lack of insurance support. Labor law in Iran does not recognize the right of workers to form independent unions.
Authorities have cracked down on the protests, arresting many of those taking part.
With writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036