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Free Reza Shahabi Now!

• Reza Shahabi’s family demands his freedom
• Who's Reza Shahabi?
• Sample Protest letter

 

Reza Shahabi’s Defense Committee’s Communiqué number sixty: Shahabi’s family demands his freedom to prevent his paralysis

(Copied to workers, workers’ organizations, the media, government and judicial officials)

Workers, labor organizations and all people of conscious,

As you are all aware, Reza Shahabi, a transit worker and a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, has been incarcerated in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June 12, 2010, only because of his advocacy for workers’ rights and supporting the demands of his fellow workers.

During these years of unjust imprisonment, Reza has suffered from an array of health problems, including but not limited to: decaying of a few lower vertebrates, problems with back and neck disks, liver and kidney complications, numbness of feet and hands, heart issues and dental problems.
Because of such amalgamation of health issues, a cervical spine operation was performed on Reza in July 2012, but despite his physicians’ recommendations for further hospital care and physiotherapy, he was returned to his cell, which has further caused many problems.

After close to three and half years of incarceration, the coroner has examined Reza’s conditions inside Evin prison, and based on an MRI scan has determined that three lower vertebrates have been damaged and are in need of immediate surgery in a hospital. It should be noted that Reza has been suffering from lower back pain for months, his left foot becoming almost paralyzed as a result, with very little mobility left in it.

Due to numbness of left foot and severe back pain, on October 19, 2013, Reza was transferred to "Imam Khomeini Hospital". After all examinations, physicians have once again recommended that Reza is in no condition to be returned to a prison environment, and is in need of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy in a stress free environment outside of prison. They have also warned that unless such treatments are provided there is a very high possibility that his entire left side could be paralyzed.

We, the family of Reza Shahabi, his wife and two children, declare that based on doctors’ recommendations, Reza cannot endure prison conditions at all and must be released immediately. We hold security and judiciary officials responsible for Reza's severe condition. We ask all labor organizations and activists in Iran and around the world to continue protesting against Reza's prolonged incarceration.

Published by Reza Shahabi Defence Committee- October 23, 2013
Phone number for Committee’s spokesperson, Mr., Mahomud Salehi: 09357353412
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.k-d-shahabi.blogspot.com
Translated by IASWI

 

Who is Reza Shahabi?

Reza Shahabi is the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, known as "Vahed Syndicate". "Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company" belongs to the Municipality of Tehran and has about seventeen thousand employees.

Reza, born in 1972, is married to Robabeh Rezaei and has a son, Mohammad Amin, and a daughter, Shirin, both adolescents.

Reza has been incarcerated in notorious Evin prison since June 2010. In an open letter in June 2012, Reza stated: "My name is Reza Shahabi. I’m a member of the board of directors if Tehran Bus Workers' Syndicate and its secretary treasurer. Due to my trade union activities I was arrested and incarcerated on June 12, 2010. I was brutally attacked and beaten during my arrest, and severely afflicted, physically and psychologically. Subsequently I spent eleven months in solitary confinement, without my family having any information about my whereabouts during that entire period of time. Finally I’ve been sentenced to six years of imprisonment, banned for five years from any trade union activities and a fine of 7,000,000 Toman. Because of all the beatings and physical and psychological abuses I have endured, I’m suffering from severe back and neck pain, and the left side of my body is practically paralyzed."

Reza received these unjust sentences based on sham charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system”.

Reza Shahabi's health deteriorated significantly after severe beatings and mistreatment following his arrest. As a result, he underwent cervical spine operation on July 24, 2012 in a hospital but shortly after that he was transferred to Evin prison again

Reza Shahabi was temporarily released on bail on January 7, 2013 after more than three weeks of hunger strike in Evin prison that mobilized national and international solidarity and support. He was forced to return to prison on April 15, 2013 despite his need for continued intensive medical care.

Reza's health has rapidly been worsening since his return to prison. A coroner has recently examined Reza’s conditions inside Evin prison, and based on an MRI scan has determined that three lower vertebrates have been damaged and are in need of immediate surgery in a hospital. It should be noted that Reza has been suffering from lower back pain for months, his left foot becoming almost paralyzed as a result, with very little mobility left in it.

Due to numbness of left foot and severe back pain, on October 19, 2013, Reza was transferred to a hospital. After all examinations, physicians have once again recommended that Reza is in no condition to be returned to a prison environment, and is in need of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy in a stress free environment outside of prison. They have also warned that unless such treatments are provided there is a very high possibility that his entire left side could be paralyzed.

Reza has been a symbol of workers' resistance and militancy. He has openly been critical of the unjust practices against him and his fellow prisoners. He has continued to stand firm in support for workers' rights and freedoms. He has been paying a big price for this. According to the latest statement that Reza has received, the release date from prison is marked for May 2015, and if he does not pay a fine (7 million toman) it will be extended to May 2016; whereas in the previous statement by the Appeal Court, the release date was March 2014.

The Iranian government is pursuing, among other repressive policies and practices, a strategy of slow and gradual death towards political prisoners, by making them subject to severe torture, medical neglect and gross mistreatments by prison authorities.

*We are urging everyone to do whatever you can to pressure the Iranian government to free Reza Shahabi.

Free Reza Shahabi Now!

* Prepared by International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran
www.workers-iran.org

Sources: IASWI, Reza Shahabi Defence Committee, Vahed Syndicate

 

Free Reza Shahabi Now


(See Sample Protest Letter below)

I (we) are writing to protest the unjust continued incarceration of Reza Shahabi. Reza Shahabi is the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company. Reza has been incarcerated in notorious Evin prison since June 12, 2010.

Reza was charges with “gathering and colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. These are all sham charges. Reza Shahabi is a worker and labour activist.

Reza Shahabi's health deteriorated significantly after severe beatings and mistreatment following his arrest. As a result, he underwent cervical spine operation on July 24, 2012. Shahabi was temporarily released on bail on January 7, 2013 after over three weeks of hunger strike in Evin prison that mobilized national and international solidarity and support. He was forced to return to prison on April 15, 2013 despite his need for continued intensive medical care. His health has rapidly been worsening since his return to prison. In September 2013, the medical examiner of Tehran has recommended that Reza Shahabi’s treatment to be done under a specialist care and outside of prison. Due to numbness of left foot and severe back pain, on October 19, 2013, Reza was transferred to a hospital. After all examinations, physicians have once again recommended that Reza is in no condition to be returned to a prison environment, and is in need of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy in a stress free environment outside of prison. They have also warned that unless such treatments are provided there is a very high possibility that his entire left side could be paralyzed.

In addition, according to the latest statement that Reza has received, the release date from prison is marked for May 2015, and if he does not pay a fine (7 million toman) it will be extended to May 2016; whereas in the previous statement the release date was March 2014.

I (we) strongly condemn the unjust arrest and sentence against Reza Shahabi and other labour activists. 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 detained labour activists in Iran., including Shahrokh Zamani, Mohammad Jarahi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, and Pedram Nasrolaahi.

Name/Organization/Position:

Please send your protests letters to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;
Twitter: @khamenei_ir; ‏@HassanRouhani
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***

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About IASWI: The International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) was formed in 1999 and formally launched in January 2000. The IASWI has been working in collaboration with many labour and progressive organizations and activists in Iran and around the world to strengthen worker-to-worker solidarity in defence of workers’ rights, demands and struggles in Iran and against the repressive anti-worker policies and practices of Islamic Republic of Iran. IASWI is a fully independent organization and does not accept funding or resources from any governments or corporations and their affiliates.

 

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