Wed, 04 Oct 2023

Iranian labor rights activist Narges Mansouri has not been released from prison despite her family having paid bail she was granted for temporary release, the watchdog Iran Human Rights says.

Iran Human Rights said a court six weeks ago granted Mansouri bail of 400 million tomans for her temporary release, and her family provided the amount and completed the registration process.

The rights group said the court continued to block her temporary release even while she is suffering from uterine fibroids and has been denied access to her chosen lawyer.

There has been no comment from the court to explain why she hadn't been released and no indication why she had been arrested, but Mansouri is one of 14 women activists in Iran who have publicly called for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to resign.

She and the other women also demanded a new political system to be installed that is framed by a new constitution that would secure dignity and equal rights for women.

Criticism of Khamenei, the octogenarian who has the last say on almost every decision in the Islamic republic, is considered a red line in Iran, and those accused often land in prison, where political prisoners are routinely held in solitary confinement and subjected to various forms of torture.

Mansouri has worked for the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company for more than 20 years and is a well-known labor rights activist. She has been arrested, interrogated, and tried many times in recent years.

On May 19, amid a wave of arrests of labor and political activists in Iran, the official IRNA news agency claimed that Mansouri was arrested by security agents while trying to leave the country.

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

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