The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today that the Iranian Judiciary must immediately release labor activist Reza Shahabi, who is currently on a dry hunger strike.
Reza Shahabi is a prisoner of conscience and member of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) who has been on a dry hunger strike since Saturday, 4 December inside Evin prison’s ward 209. Shahabi’s wife, Zohreh Rezaei, told the Campaign that Shahabi is in critical condition. Shahabi has said he will continue his hunger strike until his judicial status is clarified.
Shahabi was arrested on 12 June at his workplace. He spent 40 days in solitary confinement and so far no charges have been announced. Four years ago, Shahabi was dismissed from his job for his union activities.
In an interview with the Campaign, Rezaei expressed concern about her husband’s physical condition. “When I went to visit him today, I noticed that he can no longer walk. He didn’t have the strength to talk, either. He was in terrible shape. Many of his friends and co-workers asked me to ask him today to break his hunger strike, but he said ‘I will continue my hunger strike until my judicial status is clarified.’ He has been in detention for seven months, but his charges are still unknown,” she said.
“He has been in prison for close to seven months. They agreed to release him on bail two months ago. First they said [his bail amount was] $60,000, but then they said we had to post bail at $100,000. Though we raised the money, they have not yet released him,” said Rezaei, adding that her husband has done nothing but defend the rights of his co-workers.
Rezaei told the Campaign that despite the efforts of Shahabi’s lawyer, he has not been able to access his case file to review it. “I just want the situation with my husband’s case to be clarified as soon as possible, so that he may return to his family. I expect that just as Reza Shahabi defended the rights of his co-workers even when he was fired, that his co-workers would now defend him and his situation and not to leave him alone,” Rezaei said.
Shahabi is the sole breadwinner of his family with his friends helping his family to sustain themselves in his seven month absence.
Currently, in addition to Reza Shahabi, two other Tehran Bus Company union activists, Mansour Ossanlou and Saeed Aboutorabian are in prison.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is seriously concerned about Reza Shahabi’s deteriorating condition and holds Iranian authorities responsible for his health.
Saeed Torabian, board member the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburb Vahed Bus Company was arrested on Wednesday June 9 2010 at 9 a.m. by security forces at his home and has been transferred to an unknown location.
It is worth noting after ransacking his home his computer and cell phone were confiscated by security forces. After the board of directors was informed, they, along with Torabian’s family members, despite their search, were not able to locate his whereabouts. Previously Mr. Saeed Torabian had been arrested twice during the 2005 strikes of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company and spent more than one month in detention. He was also suspended from work for four years and was denied wages and all benefits. After continuous inquiries with the court of public administrative justice he was reinstated in his job and was returned to work. At this time two other members of the Syndicate’s board of directors, Mansoor Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, are imprisoned in Rajayee Shahr prison in City of Karaj and Evin Prison in Tehran.
The syndicate of Vahed Company workers condemns the arrest of Saeed Torabian and other syndicate members and demand the unconditional freedom of its members and all justice seeking prisoners.
Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company
June 9 2010
Translation and reproduction by the International alliance in support of workers in Iran
سعيد ترابيان عضو هيات مديره سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد اتوبوسراني تهران وحومه دستگير شد
سعيد ترابيان عضو هيات مديره سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد اتوبوسراني تهران و حومه صبح روز چهارشنبه مورخه 19/3/89 ساعت9 توسط نيروهاي امنيتي در منزل شخصي خودش دستگير و به مكان نامعلومي منتقل شد. شايان ذكر است ماموران امنيتي بعد از تفكيك منزل كامپيوتر و گوشي همراه وي را با خود بردند. بعد از مطلع شدن اعضاي هيات مديره و پيگيريهايي كه اعضاي هيات مديره و خانواده ايشان انجام دادند هنوز از مكان نگهداري اقاي سعيد ترابيان هيچ اطلاعي به دست نيامده است. آقای سعید ترابیان در جریان اعتصابات سال 84 کارگران شرکت واحد اتوبوسرانی تهران و حومه دوباردستگیر و بیش از 1ماه در بازداشت بسر برده . او همچنین 4 سال از کار تعلیق واز حقوق و مزایا محروم بود بعداز پيگيرهاي مستمر با راي هيات عمومي ديوان عدالت اداري بازگشت بكار شد.در حال حاضردوتن ديگر از اعضاي هيات مديره سنديكا به نامهاي اقايان منصور اسالو و ابراهيم مددي در زندان رجايي شهر كرج و اوين بسر مي برند
سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد بازداشت سعيد ترابيان و ديگر اعضا سنديكا را محكوم مي كنند و خواستار ازادي بي قيد و شرط اعضاي زنداني سنديكاي شركت واحد و تمام زندانيان حق طلب مي باشد
سنديكاي كارگران شركت واحد اتوبوسراني تهران و حومه
نوزدهم خرداد 1389
ترجمه و تکثیر از اتحاد بین المللی در حمایت از کارگران در ایران
As we approach the anniversary of the mass demonstrations that shook the theocratic regime last year. The repressive security apparatus has stepped up their attacks and violence on opposition activists. The regime executed 13 people in Ghezel Hesar prison at the beginning of June in a warning to opposition activists that a repeat of last years uprising will not be tolerated. Dozens more activists and protesters are awaiting execution.
Even before the mass uprisings Hands Off the People of Iran was supporting left-wing student activists who were facing repression, arrest and violence by the security forces. You can see a video of Freedom and Equality Seeking Students members speaking in October 2008 here. The left-wing of the student movement in Iran has been one of the most politically advanced and therefore suffered greatly at the hands of the state repressive forces. At the end of last month Behzad Bagheri, a student at Tehran University and member of Freedom and Equality Seeking Students was arrested. His family have not been able to learn of his condition or charges and there has been no contact between Behzad and his family. He was previously arrested in 2007 with other left wing activists in 2007 for taking part in anti-militarist and ant-regime protests.
Earlier on 8th May Bahman Khodadi, another left-wing student was arrested along with other activists in Isfahan. This add to the already huge numbers of political prisoners including such as student leader Mohammad Pourabdollah who has been in prison since February 2008 after being arrested previously in February 2007, he has been kep it solitary confinement suffering torture and constant attacks by the prison authorities. Other political prisoners include the Bus Worker’s union leader Mansoor Osanloo.
The attempt to scare off the mass movement and to undermine the ability of the opposition to organise is being driven towards mass murder and detention. Our movement must call for the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners.
You can help by getting your union branch, your political organisation or yourself and friends to spread the news of the ongoing repression to opposition activists in Iran. You can also help put pressure on the authorities by sending messages of protest calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince´s Gate
London SW7 1PT
On May 13th around 30 members of Hands Off the People of Iran along, Iranian students and exiles demonstrated in support of the general strike in Iranian Kurdistan and protest the executions of five political prisoners on May 9th in Evin prison. Those executed were school teacher and trade unionist Farzad Kamangar, Ali Haydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian. We rallied outside the University of Manchester Students’ Union and the BBC building spreading leaflets and literature on the situation. There were speeches by Iranian refugees who explained the situation in Iran the recent repressive measures in both English and Farsi.
Chris Strafford from HOPI’s national steering committee condemned the executions and the ongoing torture and incarceration of political prisoners within Iran, he also spoke about the negative impact of sanctions and that the key task for socialists in the UK is to oppose sanctions and military threats whilst building solidarity with the truly democratic movements. Afterwards he read out a letter by Farzad Kamangar sent to other prisoners titled ‘Be Strong Comrades’ you can see the videos here and here.
Hands Off the People of Iran demands:
* The immediate end to executions in Iran
* The unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners
* An end to the sanctions regime and imperialist threats