Labour activists in Sanandaj, the capital of the northwestern province of Kurdistan, have been called before the ministry of intelligence in the lead-up to International Worker’s Day.

The Union of Free Workers of Iran issued an announcement reporting the new pressures exerted on labour activists in Kurdistan.

In recent years, the Islamic Republic has prevented labour groups from having any independent celebration of International Workers Day.

Several labour activists and union leaders are currently behind bars in Iran. Trial dates for four jailed labour activists were announced last week, in a move the opposition says is meant to intimidate activists and discourage May Day demonstrations.

Ebrahim Madadi and Mansour Osanlou of the Vahed Public Transit Drivers are two of the union leaders already serving jail terms in Rejai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Reports say Osanlou has been in ill health and is being denied medical treatment.