Labour activists Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Esmaeili, who were arrested on 16 May, have been sentenced by Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Saqqez to three and six months in prison respectively, on charges of “propaganda against the state” over holding International Workers’ Day celebrations.

The prison sentences have then been commuted to fine payments, based on the Iranian Islamic Penal Code.

The trial of the two labour activists was held on Tuesday, 25 May, in the form of a video conference in Saqez Prison. They have been informed of the sentences today, 27 May, in Saqqez Prison.

The verdict said that Mahmoud Salehi has been sentenced to three months in prison as the first-degree defendant and Osman Esmaeili has been sentenced to six months in prison as the second-degree defendant, citing Article 500 of the Fifth Book of Punishments and Deterrent Punishments of the Iranian Islamic Penal Code adopted in 1996. Accordingly, the activists have been sentenced on charges of “propaganda against the state” through “illegal assembly” on International Workers’ Day and “taking photos and posting images on the internet”.

However, it added, Mahmoud Salehi’s three months imprisonment sentence has turned into a fine of 20 million Iranian Rials – nearly 80 USD – and Osman Esmaeili’s six months has become 40 million Iranian Rials, nearly 160 USD, according to the articles 38 of the Iranian Islamic Penal Code and Articles 6 of the law on reducing imprisonment that amends Article 37 of the Iranian Islamic Penal Code.

Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Esmaeili have been repeatedly summoned and imprisoned by the security institutions and the judiciary in the past years for their labour activities and for celebrating International Workers’ Day.