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Farzaneh Zilabi

HRD, Human Rights Lawyer
Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar Company

Farzaneh Zilabi is a human rights lawyer who has represented the Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar Company  (SWHTCSC) in Shush, Khuzestan south Iran. The SWHTCSC is a trade union established in 1974 for the workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-industrial Complex. The syndicate has organised a number of strikes, most recently in August 2021 against the continuous unpaid wages of employees and the corruption of the former owners. She has also  represented many individual labour rights defenders and has been outspoken about the torture reported by her clients.


Hope for political reform in Iran surfaced when President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013 and dozens of opposition political figures and human rights defenders were released. However, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement of HRDs continue to be prevalent.

Human rights defenders and journalists are arrested, detained and prosecuted in unfair trials. HRDs continue to receive death threats and are subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. They are refused bail or receive extreme bail conditions. HRDs are additionally subjected to systematic surveillance and their family members are targeted. Journalists have been subjected to flogging for criticising the government.