International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)






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Report on

leaflet distribution in Tehran

about Reza Shahabi’s arrest

After 43 days of Reza Shahabi’s arrest,- he’s a worker of Vahed Bus Co. of Tehran, today Tuesday 12th of Mordad, a huge amount of leaflets,- authored by “ A Group of Workers and Labour Activists in Iran,”-, were distributed.

This statement which condemns Reza Shahabi’s arrest emphasizes workers’ initiatives to release him and other incarcerated workers from captivity, while continuing workers’ struggle to achieve their demands, was produced on a two-sided single sheet and distributed amongst the bus drivers throughout Tehran.

In this action which took about six hours, the areas covered were: B.R.T. line of Azadi-Tehran Pars (at two points), B.R.T. line of Azadi-Khaavaraan (at three points), bus stops and the administrative building of Vahed Bus Co. of Tehran (Reza’s work site and where he was kidnapped from) and Freedom Square.

This action was carried out by teams of workers, and except in one instance, all drivers received the leaflets, and more than 70% of them welcomed support work on behalf of Reza Shahabi. Towards the conclusion of this action, around Freedom Square (where express buses # 1 and 2 start their route) many workers expressed support for this action, and mentioned how Reza Shahabi had been active defending workers' rights.

The distribution group while demanding an immediate and unconditional release of Shahabi and all other jailed workers, considers its responsibility to undertake all types of support actions for all incarcerated workers including Reza Shahabi. We shall steadfastly continue to support our militant workers and their families facing pressures, intimidation and incarceration, and not leave them alone.

Distribution group of statement condemning Reza Shahabi’s arrest


Is Reza Shahabi being forgotten?

It’s been a long while since Reza Shahabi has had any contact with his family. The last time they met, -inside the ludicrous Ward 209 of Evin prison-, he had complained about severe neck and back pains.

Prior to being kidnapped in broad day light from Vahed Bus Co. headquarters by the mercenaries of Capital,- he was lured to a meeting in that location by Vahed Bus Co.’s. Security to “discuss” his employment status-, Reza was on sick leave, recovering from grave physical discomfort.

While on sick leave he was tricked into reporting back, and subsequently abducted as soon as he showed up. Since then he’s been incarcerated in the notorious Ward 209 of Evin prison, a ward directly associated with and supervised by the Intelligence Ministry.

Reza’s spouse and his attorney have repeatedly gone to the court located within Evin prison, but haven’t received any information whatsoever about Reza’s condition in prison or the charges against him.

Reza Shahabi is a member of the Bus Drivers’ Syndicate’s Board of Directors, but much more significant than being a leading member of his organization, he belongs to that breed of workers that in the past few years have fought indefatigably for bus drivers’ rights, day in and day out.

Reza is guilty! His crime is being a human!

Reza is guilty! His crime is that he has strived to defend workers’ right and their minimal demands!

Reza is guilty! Because he refused to be humiliated!

Reza is guilty! Because in addition to providing a minimal comfortable life for his own children, he wants other workers’ children as well to also enjoy the same minimal benefits of a humane life!

One who endeavors to defend workers’ rights is not tolerated by the Capitalists and their government.

Iranian Capitalism like any other Capitalist governments utilizes police, the security apparatuses, incarceration and the court system to crush workers.

From Capitalists’ point of view Reza is guilty!

We had mentioned the ridiculous ward 209 of Evin prison before. We all know how many noble human beings have been brutalized, tortured and executed in this ward and inside Evin prison and other prisons throughout Iran, during the reigns of both Monarchy and Islamic Republic.

But aren’t all these futile attempts of Capitalists just preposterous? Do they imagine workers and labor-activists to simply go silent once they’re incarcerated? Such foolish thoughts are null and absurd.

Reza is only one of the tens of thousands of workers who are determined to fight for their rights and demands. Workers such as Reza are numerous, this path will be continued.

It’s worth noting that media, newspapers and news sites go into full gear reporting the slightest incident concerning their allies, but when it comes to us workers and labor activists, we are treated with almost total silence.

Reza Shahabi during his activism as a workers advocate has repeatedly defended rights of tens and tens of workers and has been instrumental in preventing expulsion, intimidation and unjust treatment of hundreds and hundreds of workers.

Reza had been suspended from work for 4 years due to his activism, but during this time he never gave up fighting for workers’ rights.

He’s amongst those who believe workers should attend to each other’s needs during hardship, and if a worker’s family due to her/his activities is facing financial difficulties, other workers shall provide support for them.

Reza Shahabi and many other workers strongly believe that workers shall not be financially dependent on any institution, government agency or organization. Workers must continue their struggle only and only through support of their own fellow workers.

It’s probably die to this fact that all sham workers’ institutions, and flashy anti-worker media outlets and pro-capital "human rights' organizations have chosen to treat incarceration of workers like Reza with total silence.

But Reza Shahabi and workers like him, who have set their heart on achieving workers’ and toilers’ rights are not forgotten.

Capitalist media’s silence on Reza and other workers is an indication of the honorable and indisputably genuine nature of workers' activism.

We the workers, and all workers’ organizations and all those concerned and interested in the labor movement, shall utilize all our efforts to free Reza and all other workers, immediately and without any conditions. Because other than us ourselves, no one will assist us!

Reza Shahabi and all other jailed workers shall be freed. Suppression will not stop us. Sharper and more united than before we shall continue our struggle


A group of workers and labour activists in Iran.

89/5/12  (August 3, 2010)

Translated and redistributed by the IASWI, [email protected]  




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