Tehran bus workers’ syndicate condemns the Ministry of Labour’s and security forces’ brutal assault
In a statement issued in the evening of December 26, 2017, Tehran bus workers’ syndicate exposed active collaboration of the agents of the Ministry of Labour and the security forces in the beating of Reza Shahabi’s wife’s companions when they gathered outside the Ministry of Labour this morning.
The union reported that on December 26, 2017, Robabeh Rezaee (also Rezaei), spouse of Reza Shahabi, a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, who has been detained at Rajai Shahr prison and had two strokes recently, went to the Ministry of Labour to address the lack of medical treatment of her spouse. A number of members of the syndicate, students and other workers who have been concerned about Shahabi’s health had accompanied her. Prior to Mrs. Shahabi being able to enter the Ministry of Labour, the security agents and agents of the Ministry of Labour, accompanied by anti-riot police, severely attacked the workers and others in the gathering. Hassan Saeidi, a well-known member of the Syndicate, was beaten ruthlessly and taken to the Shariati Emergency Department by the agents of the Ministry of Labour. In total, 51 people were arrested and taken to the Evin prison by plainclothes agents and intelligence officers. After a summary check-up, Hassan Saeidi was also transferred the Evin prison while his hands and feet were chained.
Tehran bus workers’ union added that although after a few hours everyone was released without conditions, it is deplorable that the ministry of labour not only refused to address people’s concerns, but helped anti-riot police by beating workers and students with batons and punches.
The bus workers’ syndicate is calling for an immediate medical attention to Reza Shahabi. The union has repeatedly emphasized that it holds the judicial and prison authorities responsible for any negligence and lack of attention paid to the condition of Reza Shahabi.
In the statement, the bus workers’ syndicate strongly condemns the beating of workers and students who sought to address the worrying situation of Reza Shahabi. The Syndicate is also calling for the unconditional freedom of Reza Shahabi and other imprisoned labour and trade union activists in Iran.
As previously explained, Reza Shahabi has had two strokes within the past two weeks and there are growing concerns and fears that he might not last in prison. We are urging all workers’ and concerned organizations to continue calling for Shahabi’s immediate release. Shahabi is held in prison without any justification as his 6-year prison term that goes back to June 2010 has already ended.
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)
December 26, 2017