Tehran - mass arrests of striking bus drivers

Iranian bus drivers in Tehran are on strike again, in the face of mass arrests and repression, including the families of the four main union leaders.

Submitted by Steven. on January 29, 2006

Iran focus reported that agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), Iran’s notorious secret police, raided the homes of bus drivers in Tehran in the early hours of the morning, arresting hundreds of bus union activists and in some cases their relatives as well, according to one resident.

Those arrested have been taken to unknown locations.

Demonstrations began in several locations throughout the Iranian capital from the morning onwards. Police shot live rounds into the air and fired teargas at the protesters in an attempt to disperse them, an eye-witness who requested anonymity told Iran Focus by telephone.

“Hundreds of armed agents of the State Security Forces were patrolling and attacking the protestors”

“There were also truck loads of etela’aties (MOIS agents) being brought in to arrest bus drivers who refused to work and were protesting”.

The demonstration had originally been planned to protests against years of bad pay and conditions at at Tehran’s Sherkat Vahed (bus company). The situation has deteriorated considerably for bus drivers in recent months, especially since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office president of the regime.