To: The Fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations, labour organisations, and progressive minded people
Reza Shahabi is on Hunger Strike
Condemn the regime of the Islamic Republic for its crimes against the trade union activists !
The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have returned Reza Shahabi, a board member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, to Rajaei Shahr prison on August 9, 2017.
Reza Shahabi was arrested in June 2010 for his trade union activities. The Islamic Revolutionary Court falsely charged him with “Propaganda against the State” and “acting against national security” in April 2012, and convicted him to 6 years imprisonment and banned him for 5 years from all trade union activities.
The Islamic Revolutionary Court has returned Reza Shahabi to prison with the charge that part of Shahabi’s medical leave was not agreed upon. Shahabi went on hunger strike immediately after his return to prison on August 9. He has continued his hunger strike for the past three weeks.
Reza Shahabi was harshly mistreated by the prison authorities in 2010-2015. During his arrest and interrogation, he was badly beaten and put in solitary confinement for many months. As a result, Reza Shahabi’s state of health quickly deteriorated in prison and he developed neck and back pains and numbness in his leg and hand. Though the medical examinations showed that he needed spine surgery, the prison authorities did not grant him immediate medical treatment outside the prison. Reza Shahabi went on several hunger strikes to protest the mistreatment of the labour activists and political prisoners. As the result of domestic and international pressure, the Office of the Islamic Prosecutor granted Shahabi medical leave in January 2013 but he was forced to return to the prison in April 2013. Reza Shahabi underwent spine surgery and suffers from constant neck and back pain. He served his reduced prison sentence in May 2015.
The capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic is fearful of the formation of independent worker-organisations. The Islamic regime sees end of its parasitic life nearing when the working class and the people are united, and is trying to suffocate any attempt to build independent and democratic workers’ organisations, and detains and charges the worker-activists with conspiracy against “national security”. But the struggle for the formation of trade unions has a long history in Iran, and the arrests and imprisonment of the activists by the regimes of the Shah and the Islamic Republic has been unable to stop this struggle. By their intensification of struggle against the Islamic Republic, workers will impose their demands on the regime.
The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) strongly condemns the arrest, mistreatment, pressure, torture, and imprisonment of Reza Shahabi and all worker-activists. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. We call on fraternal Parties and Organisations, democratic and progressive forces, labour activists, and progressive minded people to condemn the capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic for returning Reza Shahabi to prison and for other crimes. We ask the comrades to express solidarity with the struggles of the workers of Iran and to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned worker-activists and all political prisoners.
Release Reza Shahabi immediately and unconditionally !
Release all imprisoned worker-activists immediately!
Long live the struggles of workers of Iran !
The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)
August 27, 2017