Ibrahim Madadi, a prominent labour activist now in jail, stood trial on Saturday April 16 for “assembly and collusion against national security and disrupting public order” in a session that reportedly lasted less than an hour.

Ebrahim Madadi

Ebrahim Madadi

The Sherkate Vahed Union of Bus Drivers’ website reports that Madadi’s lawyer presented a nine-page defence asking the court to dismiss all charges as “unfounded”.

Madadi was arrested along with union executive Davoud Razavi last April prior to International Workers’ Day (May Day).

After 22 days, they were released on bail of 100 million toumans.

During his trial, Madadi drew the court’s attention to workers’ rights to organize, take part in union activities and protest.

Davoud Razavi stood trial in the same branch of the court in January and was sentenced to five years in jail.

Last year, in the lead up to May Day, scores of labour activists were arrested. Iranian labour laws only allow workers to organize at work within Islamic associations.

Labour activists in Iran have long been demanding the right to be represented by independent unions.