Sepideh Gholian’s trial began on August 3rd 2019. The following is a statement by the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union, issued on August 10th:
Today, August 10th, Sepideh Gholian was tried for defending the rights and demands of the Haft Tappeh workers.
Sepideh Gholian has stated that “during my interrogation I was under duress and tortured and forced to make a confession, so I do not accept the charges.”
Jamaleddin Heidarimanesh, Sepideh Gholian’s defence lawyer, while defending Sepideh Gholian’s testimony, stated that all the charges based on his client’s statements were false, “as the confession had been obtained under torture from my client.”
He went on to say that “my client Sepideh Gholian, as the child of a worker, considered it her legitimate right to defend other workers and their rights and that this is not a crime.”
When Mr Heidarimanesh defended Sepideh Gholian in this way, he was threatened with arrest and all of Mr Heidarimanesh’s personal effects were seized.
The case judge said to Sepideh Gholian’s lawyer that “by defending Sepideh Gholian you are undermining the Judiciary and the security forces.”
Sepideh Gholian’s lawyer, Mr Jamaleddin Heidarimanesh, said that “I am defending my client and doing my legal duty.”
Then the case judge threatened Sepideh: “I will transfer you to Evin prison.” Sepideh replied that “it doesn’t make any difference to me which jail I’m in, but that my situation should be settled and the detention should end.”
After this so-called trial ended, Sepideh Gholian’s defence lawyer’s personal effects that had been seized!?!! were handed back to him and Sepideh Gholian was taken back to prison.
It should be noted that on August 3rd and 4th, Esmail Bakhshi defence lawyer, Ms Farzaneh Zilabi, was threatened in the same way, as a result of which a legal case was prepared against her and Ms Zilabi’s case is [now] open at the Ahvaz Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union condemns these shows, which are solely intended to intimidate and detain workers and defenders of the labour movement; calls for the release of Sepideh Gholian, Esmail Bakhshi, Asal Mohammadi and the other detainees related to the Haft Tappeh case.
We also condemn the threats to arrest workers’ defence lawyers, Farzaneh Zilabi and Jamaleddin Heidarimanesh, who have defended their clients according to their legal duty.
The intimidation and threats against the defendants’ lawyers show what calamities are happening to the prisoners!
Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union
10 August 2019
Source: Haft Tappeh Workers Independent Channel
Translation: Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign