Reza Shahabi has been on a hunger strike since August 9, 2017 , Authorities have told Shahabi he must spend another 968 days in prison in addition to one year jail sentence for his previous charges

reza

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) Special Edition

Reza Shahabi

August 17, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                 

info@workers-iran.org / http://www.workers-iran.org

Reza Shahabi has been on a hunger strike since August 9, 2017

Authorities have told Shahabi he must spend another 968 days in prison in addition to one year jail sentence for his previous charges.

 Updated sample protest letter is attached

Reza Shahabi has been on a hunger strike since August 9, 2017. The Iranian government authorities have told Shahabi that they won’t release him even after the end of his current prison term. Reza started his hunger strike immediately after his incarceration on August 9th.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company issued a statement on August 17, 2017 according to which: Reza Shahabi is on the eve of the ninth day of hunger strike. Reza Shahabi, on Wednesday, 9th of August, reported back to the Rajaee Shahr Prison after he had been told by Tehran Prosecutor that his medical leave had been rejected and that he must spend three additional months in prison or risk the confiscation of his bail collateral. However, after he returned to the prison, the prosecutor’s office stated to Reza Shahabi’s wife on August 12, 2017 that Shahabi would be held in prison until December 22, 2018.

Shahabi’s wife and his colleagues were not able to contact him directly until August 16th. After meeting with him, Shahabi informed his wife that the prison authorities have told him that the whole period he had been on approved medical leave is not accepted (and considered absence) and that he has to stay in prison for another 968 days in addition to one year prison for his last charges. Mr. Shahabi was prosecuted one more time in January of 2015 based on charges of “propagating against the system” – while he was in jail related to the infamous attack of the security forces on Evin prison’s ward 350 on April 17, 2014 – and sentenced to an additional year in prison, and this verdict was upheld in an appeals court (refer the previous statements by IASWI). At this time, judicial authorities and prison administration are claiming different things, both completely false and unwarranted.

In protest against the illegal and unjust actions of the prison authorities and the Judiciary, Shahabi went on hunger strike immediately after his incarceration on August 9th. His demand is his unconditional release from prison. Unfortunately, as explained previously, due to the lack of access to the phone until the visit on Wednesday, August 16th, his family and the Vahed Syndicate had been unaware of his hunger strike.

Vahed Syndicate has also stated that Reza’s family has announced that he has been transferred the quarantine to the Rajaee Shahr (Originally known as Gohardasht) Prison’s Hall 10, a place where political prisoners are held. Vahed union emphasized that this section lacks any basic facilities, and prisoners do not have access to the fresh air and do not even have an air-conditioning or refrigerator in this extreme heat. Tehran bus workers’ union also stated that despite the end of his jail sentence, Reza Shahabi is being jailed again in order to exert pressure on the bus company workers to prevent the continuation of their efforts for justice and realization of their legal demands.

Vahed Syndicate has strongly condemned this illegal action on the part of the judicial and intelligence authorities and supports Shahabi’s demand for unconditional freedom (link to the bus workers’ union website http://vahedsyndica.com/archive/2795 ).

Vahed Syndicate has also called on labour organizations internationally to send open protest letters to the Iranian government and judicial authorities and take any other necessary steps in order to help secure Shahabi’s release.

IASWI will issue more updates regarding Reza Shahabi’s hunger strike. Shahabi has been jailed again while those who have been stealing millions and billions of dollars from the public assets and refuse to pay workers’ wages and entitlements are walking free in Iran. In recent weeks we have seen attacks on Haft Tapeh Sugar cane workers, on teachers and other labour activists. New charges have been laid against other labour activists in recent days including flogging sentences (more on this soon). Strong condemnations and consistent pressure on the Iranian government by the global labour and progressive movements and human rights organizations might be able to create conditions in which Shahabi and other prisoners achieve their demands including unconditional freedom.

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

August 17, 2017

info@workers-iran.org;

http://www.workers-iran.org;

www.etehadbinalmelali.com

Face book: https://www.facebook.com/IASWI

https://twitter.com/IASWIinfo

Sample Protest letter (updated August 17, 2017):

 End Reza Shahabi’s persecution! Reza Shahabi must be immediately and unconditionally released.

I (we) are writing to protest the continued persecution of Reza Shahabi, the executive board member and treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran Bus Workers’ Company, who has been incarcerated again as of August 9, 2017. Shahabi has been on a hunger strike since August 9th. According to the prosecutor’s office, stated to Reza Shahabi’s wife, Shahabi has to be in prison until December 22, 2018. At the same time, the prison authorities have told Shahabi that the whole period he had been on approved medical leave is not accepted (and considered absence) and that he has to stay in prison for another 968 days in addition to one year prison for his last charges.

Reza Shahabi was arrested in June 2010 while he was on the job, driving a bus; he was violently assaulted in front of bus riders and incarcerated in Evin prison’s ward 209. After spending nineteen months in solitary confinement he was given six years of prison sentence, banned from any union activities for five years and a financial fine of seven and half million Tomans by branch 15 of the revolutionary court. Due to extensive physical stress and tortures during interrogations, Mr. Shahabi suffered from back and neck dislocation and had to go under surgery twice. After enduring prison for years he had been under medical leave of absence based on coroner’s recommendation. It should be noted that during his long incarceration Mr. Shahabi had to resort to hunger strike, four separate times, in protesting against lack of medical attention to his deteriorating health conditions and the growing numbness of the left side of his body. His last hunger strike, to protest against his transfer to Rajaee Shahr prison in City of Karaj, lasted fifty-two days. Mr. Shahabi was prosecuted again in January of 2015 based on charges of “propagating against the system” – related to the infamous attack of the security forces on Evin prison’s ward 350 on April 17, 2014 – and sentenced to an additional year in prison, and this verdict was upheld in an appeals court.

I (we) strongly condemn the continued targeting and unjust re-incarceration of Reza Shahabi. I (we) also denounce ongoing persecution and arrests of labour activists in Iran. I (we) demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of Reza Shahabi and all other detained labour activists in Iran. The Iranian government is responsible for the health and wellbeing of Reza Shahabi.

Name:

Organization/Position:

PLEASE SEND protest letters to the email addresses below: Please also send them via the Iranian diplomatic representatives accredited to your country, if there is an Iranian diplomatic mission in your country. Although Iranian embassies’ addresses change frequently, please see the link below which might help: https://www.embassypages.com/iran   · Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian) Email: info_leader@leader.ir · President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani Email: media@rouhani.ir Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian) · The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran – High Council of Human Rights info@humanrights-iran.ir · Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Email: iran@un.int

Tehran Judiciary: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir

Tehran Bus Company: bus@tehran.ir Cc or BCC: vsyndica@gmail.com;  info@workers-iran.org;

Urgent Action needed: Reza Shahabi will stay in prison until December 22, 2018

According to the prosecutor’s office, stated to Reza Shahabi’s wife on August 12, 2017, Shahabi has to be in prison until December 22, 2018. This is outrageous. Strong condemnations and urgent actions needed to push back against the continued targeting of Reza Shahabi (Sample protest letter is attached)

Below is the link to the Vahed Syndicate’s latest statement in Farsi posted on its website. English translation is provided below and some photos (mostly recent) of Reza Shahabi and a sample protest letter are attached. Some of the attached photos are related to a protest, organized by the Vahed Syndicate, against the non-delivery of the residential buildings by the housing cooperative unit of the company in front of the central office of Tehran’s Bus company, which took place on July 31, 2017.

http://vahedsyndica.com/archive/2792

Continued pressure on Syndicate of Workers of Vahed Company / Pressure on Reza Shahabi

                                                                                      According to the prosecutor’s office, stated to Reza Shahabi’s wife, this incarcerated toiling worker, must be in prison until December 22, 2018.  Despite the fact that the medical leave is included as part of a prison term, the prosecutor’s office has suspended five months of medical leave for this imprisoned worker, even though it had previously been approved by the coroner’s office. In addition, while serving his prison sentence, a new case was filed against him, and the court sentenced Shahabi to another one year jail to be in effect immediately after the previous conviction ends, and thus Shahabi has to be in prison for another year and five months until December 22, 2018.

The prosecutor’s claim of a five-month absence from Shahabi’s six-year imprisonment is made contrary to a letter Shahabi saw (at Rajee Shahr prison on August 8th ) according to which his last day of imprisonment was on Shahrivar 18, 1394 (September 9, 2015). Shahabi entered Rajaee Shahr prison on Wednesday, August 9th, and so far his family and colleagues have not been able to contact him. Syndicate of Workers of Vahed Company Strongly condemns the continuing pressure on the Syndicate and the imprisonment of a member of the syndicate board, calling for an immediate release of Reza Shahabi and the annulment of sentences against him and other board members of our syndicate, Mr. Ebrahim Madadi and Mr. Davoud Razavi, as well as other imprisoned workers and labour activists.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Vahed Syndicate)

August 12, 2017

Translated by IASWI:

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

August 14, 2017

info@workers-iran.org;

http://www.workers-iran.org;

www.etehadbinalmelali.com

Face book: https://www.facebook.com/IASWI

https://twitter.com/IASWIinfo

 Sample Protest letter:

 Reza Shahabi must be immediately and unconditionally released.

I (we) are writing to protest the continued persecution of Reza Shahabi, the executive board member and treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran Bus Workers’ Company, who has been incarcerated again as of August 9, 2017. According to the prosecutor’s office, stated to Reza Shahabi’s wife, Shahabi has to be in prison until December 22, 2018.

Reza Shahabi was arrested in June 2010 while he was on the job, driving a bus; he was violently assaulted in front of bus riders and incarcerated in Evin prison’s ward 209. After spending nineteen months in solitary confinement he was given six years of prison sentence, banned from any union activities for five years and a financial fine of seven and half million Tomans by branch 15 of the revolutionary court. Due to extensive physical stress and tortures during interrogations, Mr. Shahabi suffered from back and neck dislocation and had to go under surgery twice. After enduring prison for years he had been under medical leave of absence based on coroner’s recommendation. It should be noted that during his long incarceration Mr. Shahabi had to resort to hunger strike, four separate times, in protesting against lack of medical attention to his deteriorating health conditions and the growing numbness of the left side of his body. His last hunger strike, to protest against his transfer to Rajaee Shahr prison in City of Karaj, lasted fifty-two days. Mr. Shahabi was prosecuted again in January of 2015 based on charges of “propagating against the system” – related to the infamous attack of the security forces on Evin prison’s ward 350 on April 17, 2014 – and sentenced to an additional year in prison, and this verdict was upheld in an appeals court.

I (we) strongly condemn the continued targeting and unjust re-incarceration of Reza Shahabi. I (we) also denounce ongoing persecution and arrests of labour activists in Iran. I (we) demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of Reza Shahabi and all other detained labour activists in Iran.

Name:

Organization/Position:

PLEASE SEND protest letters to: · Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian) Email: info_leader@leader.ir · President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani Email: media@rouhani.ir Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian) · The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran – High Council of Human Rights info@humanrights-iran.ir;  · Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Email: iran@un.int

Tehran Judiciary: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir

Tehran Bus Company: bus@tehran.ir Cc: info@workers-iran.org

Reza Shahabi admitted into Rajaee Shahr Prison in City of Karaj on Wednesday (August 9, 2017) just before noon and 48 hours later no one including his family and colleagues has heard back from him (as of this time).

A more detailed update will be issued this evening. 

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) August 11, 2017

2nd Update: Reza Shahabi was not admitted into Rajaee Shahr Prison and told to return tomorrow morning

August 8, 2017 – Reza Shahabi, accompanied by family and colleagues, entered into Rajai Shahr Prison in the afternoon of August 8, 2017; however, 45 minutes after his arrival in prison, the Rajai Shahr prison authorities refused his admission due to technical matters and the closure of their admission office. Reza was told to return in the morning of August 9th. This is while the prosecutor’s office had threatened Reza that he either had to be in prison today or his bail collateral would be seized. The whole process has been extremely stressful for Shahabi and his family as they have been under mounting pressures to force him to return to the prison.

More updates on Reza Shahabi’s situation will be issued soon.

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) August 8, 2017 info@workers-iran.org;  www.workers-iran.org; www.etehadbinalmelali.com Face book: https://www.facebook.com/IASWI  https://twitter.com/IASWIinfo

Reza Shahabi forced to return to prison today

Reza Shahabi, the Treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Vahed Syndicate), has been returned to Rajai Shahr Prison today, August 8, 2017, due to the prosecutor’s office’s action to seize the property-based bail collateral. Reza Shahabi was sentenced to six years imprisonment and payment of seven million and five hundred thousand toman in cash and five years of ban of union activities by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. He had spent most of his time in prison, and then due to injuries sustained as a result of torture during the detention, he was on a medical leave. But according to a statement from the Vahed Syndicate, the prosecutor’s office claims that he has not been approved for three months of his medical leave and thus his collateral will be seized. The property was offered in place of bail money by a friend of Shahabi to secure his medical leave. Shahabi has also been threatened to pay the above fine or will have to spend additional 355 days in prison after serving the remaining three months.  

IASWI strongly condemns the continued persecution of Reza Shahabi while the Islamic Republic of Iran had claimed to the ILO that Shahabi has been freed. We demand Shahabi’s immediate and unconditional freedom.

 International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

August 8, 2017

More background information:

Reza Shahabi must not return to prison!

Urgent actions needed (Sample Protest letter attached)  In a joint statement on February 10, 2017, the French trade union federations (CFDT, CGT, FSU, Solidaires and UNSA) expressed their serious concerns about the fate of Reza Shahabi who is summoned to return to the prison.  Reza Shahabi is currently on bail. He is at the risk of arrest and imprisonment at any time to serve the remainder of his 6 year sentence (he has three months left according to the claims made by the authorities). A new imprisonment would endanger his health in view of the serious illnesses he is suffering from. In addition, the prison authorities usually strategies to ensure that high profile labour activists are not able to simply get absolute discharge.  The French trade union federations also stated their opposition to the unlawful convictions against Reza Shahabi which is a violation of international labour Conventions. They reminded the leaders of the Islamic republic of Iran (IRI) of their obligations towards ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on the right to organize and freedom of association. They emphasized that a return to detention of Reza Shahabi, unjustly convicted for his trade union activity, would be only a further violation of international conventions and a violation of human rights.  Reza Shahabi’s surety has also been threatened that she would lose her home if Reza Shahabi is not returned to prison. The French trade union federations also called on the Iranian government to ensure that the property of the guarantor of the surety will not be seized.

Mr. Reza Shahabi a board member of Vahed syndicate was arrested in June 2010 while he was on the job, driving a bus; he was violently assaulted in front of bus riders and incarcerated in Evin prison’s ward 209. After spending nineteen months in solitary confinement he was given six years of prison sentence, banned from any union activities for five years and a financial fine of seven million Tomans by branch 15 of the revolutionary court. Due to extensive physical stress and tortures during interrogations, Mr. Shahabi suffered from back and neck dislocation and had to go under surgery twice. After enduring prison for five years he has been under medical leave of absence based on coroner’s recommendation. It should be noted that during his long incarceration Mr. Shahabi had to resort to hunger strike, four separate times, in protesting lack of medical attention to his deteriorating health conditions and the growing numbness of the left side of his body. His last hunger strike, to protest against his transfer to Rajaee Shahr prison, lasted fifty-two days. Mr. Shahabi was prosecuted again in January of 2015 based on charges of “propagating against the system,” and sentenced to a year in prison, and this verdict was upheld in an appeals court. At the moment he is experiencing very hard circumstances including numerous illnesses; his multiple attempts to return to work through following up with the Labour Ministry has had no results. This is while IRI’s Ministry of Labour hasreported to ILO that Mr. Shahabi has been released from prison and is back to work, which is totally untrue and baseless.

We, together with the Iranian labour movement, salute the efforts by the French trade federations (CFDT, CGT, FSU, Solidaires and UNSA) for their ongoing and unconditional support towards bus workers in Tehran and other independent labour organizations in Iran. We urge labour and human rights organizations internationally to send protest letters to the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and demand that “Reza Shahabi must not return to prison”. We also call on the International Labour Organization and its Workers’ Group that it is time to take the plight of workers’ rights in Iran a lot more seriously, especially given that the authorities of IRI has falsely claimed to the ILO that Reza Shahabi is free and that he has returned to work which is an absolute lie. Reza Shahabi and Tehran bus workers’ union need urgent and decisive actions. There are mounting evidence that the IRI authorities are pursuing a new wave of attacks against workers and particularly against the only few unionized workers like the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company and the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association. Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company is the first independent labour organization in Iran that was formed after twenty-seven years of repression and as such is considered a significant historical achievement in Iran’s labour movement.

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

February 12, 2017

 

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