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Jafar Azimzadeh


Jafar Azimzadeh is a well known trade-unionist in Iran, and the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Free Workers Union of Iran. The Union played an important role in the organization of the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Iran in 2011. The campaign sought to increase minimum wages in accordance with the inflation rate so as workers could provide for their families. The petition received approximately 40,000 signatures and was submitted to the Iranian parliament in December 2012.

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.

Judicial harassment is one of the most common tactic used to silence HRDs and independent voices. Vaguely-worded charges of “acting against national security", “propaganda against the regime” or “enmity against God” are often used. Many are convicted in the absence of their lawyers, on the basis of "confessions" extracted under torture. In a number of cases the targeting of HRDs is ostensibly linked to their actual or perceived religious affiliation.