There must be widespread support for jailed workers in Iran

This week’s Bread and Roses is on the labour movement in Iran and courageous jailed workers there.
With Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, and Bahram Soroush
Director: Reza Moradi; Programme Consultant: Poone Ravi

کارگران زندانى بايد بيشترين همبستکى جهانى را با خود داشته باشند
۱۳ اوت ۲۰۱۴
مصاحبه با شهلا دانشفر٬ هماهنگ کننده کمپین برای آزادی کارگران زندانی

There must be widespread support for jailed workers in Iran
12 August 2014
Interview with Shahla Daneshfar, Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

2 August: Campaign for the release of Reza Shahabi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Shahrokh Zamani

freetheSolidarity pickets have been organised in Sydney, London, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Berlin, Koln, Oslo, Toronto and Gothenburg.

Reza Shahabi, a member of the executive board of the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company (Vahed), has been jailed for his part in the great bus workers’ strike in 2006 and in forming the bus workers’ union.

In early June 2014 Shahabi began a hunger strike in protest against his transfer to Rajaee Shahr Prison and demanded to be admitted to hospital for urgent medical care and treatment. After 43 days hunger strike and a global campaign in support of Reza, he was transferred to hospital and the prison authorities have agreed to his demands.

Shahrokh Zamani, another leading worker activist in Iran is under constant threat and pressure in Rajaee Shahr prison, have written a letter to protest their imprisonment.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has been in prison since June 2010 on a five-year sentence for union activities. Ebrahimzadeh is a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Labour Organisations in Iran and a campaigner for children’s rights. He has been subjected to severe tortures during his incarceration.

We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world and all those appalled by the horrific human rights abuse in Iran to support Reza Shahabi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Shahrokh Zamani and all jailed workers in Iran. All jailed trade unionists and political prisoners must be freed immediately and unconditionally!

Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

July 12: International Day of Solidarity with Reza Shahabi and Behnam Ebrahimzadeh

freethemnowJoin the international day of solidarity with jailed labour activists in Iran, in particular Reza Shahabi and Behnam Ebrahimzadeh who need urgent medical care.

You can download the poster of the jailed workers, take a photo of yourself holding the poster and send it to Fariborz Pooya ([email protected]) to publicise on New Channel TV.

Join us. Together we must help save their lives.

Urgent Action: Reza Shahabi is dying and Behnam Ebrahimzadeh needs urgent medical care

Labour activist Reza Shahabi, a member of the Executive Committee of Tehran Vahed Bus Company Workers’ Union has been on hunger strike since June 1st in protest to his being transferred to the notorious Rejai-Shahr prison and the consequent denial of his sick leave to receive medical treatment. Reza Shahabi’s FTNOW1health has been deteriorating with severe weight loss; he has loss of more than 12 kilograms.

Shahrokh Zamani, another labour activist and Union member who is in the same prison ward has called for an international campaign in support of Reza Shahabi.

Meanwhile, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a leading workers’ right activist who was kept in solitary confinement in ward 209 of the notorious Evin prison from May 3 to June 29 was allowed to meet his family after pressure; however on the same night, the intelligence services of the Islamic regime of Iran raided his home and interrogated his 15 year old son Nima, who suffers from leukemia and has been under treatment. They furthermore confiscated the child’s PC and other documents. Ebrahimzadeh also suffers from health problems due to tortures inflicted by the regime.

In response to Shahrokh Zamani’s urgent call for action and to protest against the life-threatening situation of Reza Shahabi and Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, we are calling for an international day of action in their support.

We call on all Trade unions and labour organisations, human rights bodies and the public to support this campaign with every means possible.

With this campaign and our support, let us assure Reza Shahabi that we will make sure he is not forgotten and call upon him to end his hunger strike.

Reza Shahabi and Behnam Ebrahimzadeh must be immediately and unconditionally released and must receive immediate medical treatment. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh must be allowed to be by the side of his ill child.

Here is our Bread and Roses video explaining the situation:

Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Support Iranian Labour activists. Reza Shahabi life is in danger

10346106_750929241631298_2506882444654765833_nReza Shahabi and Behanm Ebrahimzadeh need urgent support
The life of Reza Shahabi is in real danger

Reza Shahabi, a member of the executive board of the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company(Vahed), has been jailed for his part in the great bus workers’ strike in 2006 and in forming the bus workers’ union. He has already served more than three years of a four-year sentence.

There are concerns that he is dying due to his hunger strike in Gohardasht Prison. On 1 June 2014 Shahabi was transferred from ward 350 to Gohardasht Prison rather than being transferred to hospital for surgery. Since his transfer to Gohardasht Prison, Reza Shahabi has been on a hunger strike for the past 35 days, he is in now critical health conditions and his life is in danger. No prison authorities or the Islamic regime officials have paid any attention to his legitimate demands yet. Shahrokh Zamani, another worker activist in Iran who himself is under constant threat and pressure in Gohardasht prison has expressed his serious concerns for the life of the jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi.

Shahabi suffers from multiple medical conditions, including a severe back problem. Unfinished treatments have led to deterioration in Shahabi’s condition; problems in his neck, back and arms and legs are threatening and might paralyse him. In a protest letter to the prison authorities, he writes: “I have problems in both my legs, which go numb and are getting weaker, so I can only get up with massage and with the help of my cell mates”. He then asks: “Is this anything but prisoners’ slow death through physical and mental exhaustion”? He says, if anything happens to him, the responsibility lies with the judiciary, the prisons’ organisation and the highest state authorities.

Another labour activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, has been in prison since June 2010 on a five-year sentence for union activities. During a recent assault on political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison on 17th of June, he was among the prisoners who were severely beaten up and injured and moved to ward 240 of Evin prison. Due to massive protests, he was moved back to ward 350 on May Day. On May 3rd, he was moved to ward 209. (Ward 209 is the interrogation unit of Evin Prison in Tehran. Run by the Ministry of the intelligence, torture and maltreatment is routinely practised as part of the interrogations.) Authorities has forbidden him visitors since then.

We are concerned for his well-being too. Before the time he was moved to general ward 209, he had the chance to meet his family on June 27. However, following this meeting police forces raided his home and took their computers and some documents; the police threatened his wife and his 15 years old son in order to extract from them whatever they knew.

It should also be noted that Nima Ebrahimzadeh, Behnam’s only son, suffers leukaemia, a fact that has added to Behnam Ebrahimzadeh’s psychological distress.

Ebrahimzadeh is a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Labour Organisations and a campaigner for children’s rights. He has been subjected to severe torture during his incarceration.

We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world and all those appalled by the horrific human rights abuse in Iran to support Reza Shahabi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and workers rights in Iran.

All jailed trade unionists and political prisoners must be freed immediately and unconditionally! Harassment of workers and their families must stop immediately!

Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran

Shahla Daneshfar [email protected]
Bahram Soroush [email protected]
free-them-now.blogspot.co.uk/
4 July 2014

Labour leader Reza Shahabi on five-day medical leave from jail

Campaign for his release continues!

Imprisoned labour leader Reza Shahabi who has been on hunger strike for three weeks in protest against his imprisonment and maltreatment was on Monday released on a five-day medical leave. The brief release has come under the pressure of powerful protests in Iran and worldwide.

Reza Shahabi, an executive board member of the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company, has been jailed for his part in the great bus workers’ strike in 2006 and in building the bus workers’ union. In April 2012, having already spent 22 months in jail, Shahabi was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from union activity for a further five years.

Shahabi began a hunger strike on 17 December in protest against his continued imprisonment, lack of medical care, and abuse and maltreatment by the prison guards. According to his wife, Robabeh Rezaee, he has already lost about 15kg and is suffering from back and neck pain and high blood pressure. [Read more...]

Free Reza Shahabi now

Labour activist Reza Shahabi who was arrested 18 months ago has been on hunger strike since 22 days ago in protest against his tenuous situation in prison. As a result, his health has rapidly deteriorated and he is at risk of paralysis. According to news published by the Committee to Free Reza Shahabi, he was to be transferred to the hospital on Sunday; instead, he was sent to cell 350 in Evin prison.

Shahabi was the treasurer of the Sherkat-e Vahed bus drivers’ union. All the union’s officers have been prosecuted by the Islamic regime in Iran for organising strikes more than six years ago. [Read more...]