Friday, 10 December 2010

Reza Shahabi’s condition reported as serious as family reach out to the world for support

Reza Shahabi, board member of Tehran’s bus workers’ union, has been in prison for the past six months without any charge. He is in prison for the sole reason of his union activities, for defending workers’ rights. In protest against his detention and condition, Shahabi has started a hunger strike since Saturday 4 December, refusing even water. His family, who were able to visit him, have described his condition as serious. At the visit, Shahabi was reportedly unable even to walk to the glass cabinet and had to be helped along by his prison mates. In addition, due to his general weakness, in the past few days Reza has suffered a number of falls, resulting in bruises and a leg injury.

In an appeal to trade unions, human rights organisations and the world media (see below), the family of Reza Shahabi have called for urgent action to get Shahabi and his jailed colleagues released.

In addition to Reza Shahabi, currently Mansour Ossanlou, Ebrahim Madadi, Gholamreza Ghlolamhosseini, Morteza Komsari, Ali Akbar Nazari (all members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company), as well as trade unionist and human rights activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh are in jail in Iran.

The Free Them Now! Campaign emphatically supports the appeal by the family of Reza Shahabi and calls for urgent actions worldwide to get Reza Shahabi safely out of prison and secure the release of all the other jailed trade unionists.

  •  Please publish and spread the news as widely as you can
  • Sign the petition for the release of jailed workers:
  • Let us know of any actions you are organising in your area

10 December 2010
Free Them Now!
Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Campaign co-ordinators:
Shahla Daneshfar ( 0044-7779 898968)
Bahram Soroush ( 0044-7852 338334)

Letter by the family of jailed Iran unionist Reza Shahabi:

To workers, trade unions, human rights organisations and world media

As you are aware, Reza Shahabi, who is being detained in Ward 209 of Evin Prison [in Tehran, Iran], has been on a dry hunger strike since Saturday 4th December. Given previous multiple medical conditions and the problems suffered during the six months that he has been in prison, his health is in serious danger.

Although a letter stating his release was issued on 11 October, and we have submitted a 600 million Rial [App. US$60,000] bail, while Reza himself has signed a bail pledge for 1 billion Rial [App. US$100,000], the two judicial authorities whom we have been referred to deny being in charge of Reza Shahabi’s case.

Reza Shahabi has been in jail for six months for defending workers’ rights. He is still in jail although his release letter was issued two months ago. And now his health is in serious danger, and we can’t think what further damage the dry hunger strike will do to him.

We hereby request all workers, trade unions, human rights organisations, the media and concerned people to do all they can for the release of Reza Shahabi, his jailed colleagues and all jailed workers.

Partner, brothers and family members of Reza Shahabi
Thursday 9 December 2010

[Translated from Farsi by Free Them Now! - Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran]   

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