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Tehran bus workers’ Syndicate continues to be under attack

Reza Shahabi Ebrahim Madadi Davood Razavi July 2017
Reza Shahabi, Ebrahim Madadi & Davood Razavi

Davood Razavi appeared in the court of appeal

Ebrahim Madadi summoned by the court

Reza Shahabi’s message from Rajaee Shahr Prison

IASWI: According to a statement by Vahed Syndicate, Mr. Davood Razavi, a member of the board of directors of Tehran bus workers’ union (Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company – or also called Vahed Syndicate), attended a hearing at Branch 36 of the Appeals Court of the Islamic Revolutionary court on November 4, 2017. The trial for this union activist was held while his lawyer, Mr. Saleh Nikbakht, had to be present at another court on the same day thus was not able to appear in court. Although they had in-advance requested to postpone the hearing date, unfortunately it was not accepted by the court. They therefore gave the court a defense statement even though Razavi’s counsel was not in presence. The appeals court began at 10:00 am while the judge and the prosecutor were not even present. Mr. Razavi, while presenting a defense statement prepared his lawyer, Mr. Saleh Nikbakht, also had to defend himself by responding to hearing questions. Mr. Razavi argued that he has been striving to defend the rights of his colleagues and workers and that he does not accept accusations of assembly and collusion against national security.

Ebrahim Madadi, a member, and vice-president, of the Board of Directors of Tehran bus workers’ union (Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company), has been summoned to appear at Branch 36 of the Revolutionary Court’s Appeals Court of the Islamic Revolutionary court on December 3, 2017.

Ebrahim Madadi and Davood Razavi were arrested by the intelligence forces at their homes at the same time, in the early hours of Wednesday, April 29, 2015, and transferred to the Evin prison. After 22 days of detention in the solitary confinement of the ward 209 of Evin Prison, they were released on 100 million Toman bail. In February 2016, they were sentenced to a total of 10 years and three months imprisonment (five years and three months for Madadi and five years for Razavi) by the branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

Madadi and Razavi, as well as Reza Shahabi, had previously been arrested numerous times and spent times in prison due to their trade union activities. It is important to highlight the cases of these two prominent labour activists in all protest letters and solidarity campaigns as well.

In a statement from Rajaee Shahr prison, Reza Shahabi thanked all workers, individuals and labour and concerned human rights organizations in Iran and around the world for their support and solidarity. Below is the English translation of Reza Shahabi’s statement.

Reza Shahabi’s message form Rajaee Shahr prison

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Protests in Tehran for the release of Reza Shahabi

With warmest greetings,

I would like to take this moment to express my utmost gratitude and thanks to all the workers, Syndicate members, students, social activists, all the families and liberated individuals who have protested against my unjust incarceration and the unjust imprisonment of all other labour activists. I would also like to sincerely thank all the international workers’ organizations from throughout the world who have sent messages of protest to the (Iranian) government authorities and have demanded my unconditional release, and unconditional freedom of all other workers who are unjustly incarcerated.

The persecution of me and my family since 2010, when the plainclothes agents arrested me on the phony charge of armed robbery, while I was on the job driving a bus, has not stopped for a moment.

I spent 19 months in solitary confinement at Ward No. 209 of Evin Prison under long interrogation and the most severe physical, mental and psychological assaults, and several times I was threatened with execution.

In these years, I have had many surgeries and medical treatments and I have been forced to resort to weeks’ long hunger strike, just to make sure my voice is heard. Why?  Why should a worker who is only defending his most basic rights and the most basic rights of his coworkers be subjected to so much harm and abuse, endangering his health and wellbeing and that of his family? They had thought that through such repressive actions and creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation they could intimidate and silence the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company and other independent workers’ organizations. But this never happened and will not materialize. As long as workers are subjected to exploitation and vicious repression, as long as workers’ rights are unabashedly violated, while the capitalists, embezzlers and the wealthy looters are protected, there will be workers’ organizations, protests and strikes.

My situation is still unclear, and despite the promises made by the authorities to end this situation, I am still being held in imprisonment without appropriate medical care. The support of my reverent cell-mates, my dear family, my great wife and my toiling co-workers at Vahed workers’ syndicate, as well as the support of workers and defenders of workers’ and human rights in Iran and internationally, will be the only guarantor of my freedom and the freedom of my incarcerated colleagues.

Be victorious

Reza Shahabi,
Rajaee Shahr prison- Karaj
October 18, 2017 (Mehr 26, 1396)

Translated by IASWI

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)
November 5, 2017
[email protected];

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