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Three members of the Haft-Tappeh sugarcane factory union in southern Iran have been sentenced to six months in jail, RFE/RL'S Radio Farda reports.

The sentences were handed down on November 18 by the Court of Appeal in the southwestern city of Ahwaz.

Behrouz Nikoufard, Alireza Saeed, and Behrouz Molazadeh were convicted of showing disrespect to the supreme leader. It was not immediately clear what had given rise to the charge.

Meanwhile, union head Reza Rakhshan has come under increased scrutiny and judicial pressure after writing an article on the occasion of the anniversary of the formation of the labor union.

The Ahwaz Appeal Court acquitted Rakhshan on unclear charges but warned him that he should expect a two-year jail sentence once his case comes up for review.

The 3,000-member labor union, which has organized a number of protests and sit-ins, is under increasing scrutiny by the authorities.
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