Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: December 11 • Printable version    

Detained Iranian labour activist in critical health condition

Reza Shahabi

Detained labour activist, Reza Shahabi is in critical health condition in Iranian prison after starting on a dry hunger strike on December 4.

According to the International Campaign for Human Rights, Zohreh Rezai, Shahabi’s wife has reported that her husband has gone on a hunger strike in protest to his undetermined judicial case and has emphasized that he will remain on hunger strike until his status is clarified by the judiciary.

Shahabi who is a member of the Tehran and Suburbs Public Transit Bus Drivers Union was fired from his job for his labour activities four years ago. He was arrested on June 12 of this year and spent 40 days in solitary confinement. So far no charges have been laid against him.

His wife reported: “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 added: “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.”

The imprisonment of Shahabi has thrown the family in dire straits as he is the sole breadwinner of the family.

Two other members of the Sherkat-e Vahed bus drivers union, Manour Osanlou and Saeed Aboutorabian, have also been imprisoned by the Islamic Republic authorities for their labour activism.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls for the immediate release of Reza Shahabi announcing that it “holds Iranian authorities responsible for his health.”

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