Iran: detained labor activist on hunger strike

Iranian labor activist Reza Shahabi has begun a prison hunger strike in protest of his undetermined judicial status. The Vahed Company Workers Union website reports that Shahabi has been detained for more than 15 months, and so far the authorities have kept his case in limbo. Shahabi is reportedly suffering from grave ailments in his spine and kidneys. The Jaras opposition website reports that Shahabi’s absence has put his wife and children in financial difficulty, and all their efforts to follow up on his case with the authorities have failed.

Shahabi, who was the treasurer of the Vahed Workers Union, was arrested in June of 2010 and interrogated for more than six months in Evin Prison. He had been involved in a drivers’ strike at Vahed Company six years ago, which led to his suspension from work. A few weeks before his arrest last year, the Labor Bureau had voted to reinstate him and allowed him to return to work. Human rights defenders in Iran have repeatedly denounced Shahabi’s treatment and called for his release. (Radio Zamaneh, Nov. 25)

See our last posts on Iran and the labor struggle.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.

  1. Iran goes on execution spree
    With another nine executions Nov. 29, the number of hangings in Iran in the past five days has reached 21. Iranian Kurdistan’s Mokerian News Agency reports that eight prisoners from Kermanshah Central Prison were hanged in a central square of the city. Six were convicted on drug-related charges and two on rape charges. ISNA reports that another rape convict was hanged publicly in Saveh. The Saveh prosecutor announced that the convict’s two accomplices have also been sentenced to death and soon will be executed. Human rights groups say Iranian state media have reported on 210 hangings so far this year. (Radio Zamaneh, Nov. 29)

  2. Iran: labor leader gets six years
    The Iranian judiciary has sentenced labour activist Reza Shahabi to six years in jail and a five-year ban from labour activism. Shahabi was arrested in June of 2010 and has been held in custody ever since. The committee for the defence of Reza Shahabi says the activist, who was an executive member of the Vahed bus drivers’ union, was sentenced to one year in jail for “propaganda activities against the regime” and another five years for “collusion to act against national security.” (Radio Zamaneh via Payvand, April 16)