The head of the Bafgh Islamic Council and another four miners were arrested on Saturday August 23, further intensifying the labour protests.

ILNA reports that a spokesperson for the Islamic Council reported that five more iron ore miners were arrested and one of them is Hassan Tashakori, the head of the Islamic Council.

The arrests have occurred as the miners’ strike entered its fifth consecutive day. The miners stopped work to protest the arrest of 18 labour activists who had challenged the plan to privatize the mine.

Bafgh MP Dakhil Abbas Zarezadeh commented on the situation, saying the arrest of miners triggered the unrest. He added that riot police should not have been dispatched to the area so that the protests could remain peaceful.

Zarezadeh said it is in the interest of the system and the people to have 15 percent of the mine’s revenues invested in the region.
Miner representatives reportedly expressed similar demands to the governor during negotiations on Thursday night and demanded the release of all of their colleagues.