Two labour rights activists who were rearrested after speaking out about beatings and other abuse they suffered in detention last year are at grave risk of further torture, Amnesty International has warned.
Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian were violently arrested in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, on 20 January in apparent reprisal for talking publicly about the torture they have said they endured in detention during November and December 2018, provoking a public outcry.
“There are real fears that Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian could be facing a second round of torture after their rearrest. The timing of their arrest strongly suggests it is part of a sinister attempt to silence and punish them for speaking out about the horrific abuse they suffered in custody. The authorities must release them immediately and unconditionally, ensure their allegations of torture are independently investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice,” said Philp Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.