Reza Shahabi Back in Jail Again
April 15, 2013- Reza Shahabi, the executive board member of Tehran bus workers' union, returned to Evin Prison this afternoon, after the Intelligent Forces ordered him back to prison from his medical leave that started on January 7, 2013. Since his temporary release on January 7, 2013, Reza had been receiving a number of medical treatments and most of them were still ongoing; thus, he had to stop his treatments despite doctors' recommendations. Reza was accompanied by his family, a number of bus drivers and members of the union and other labor activists before returning to prison.
Reza Shahabi was temporarily released on bail on January 7, 2013 after over three weeks of hunger
strike in Evin prison that mobilized national and international solidarity and support. Reza Shahabi's temporary release was extended due to his severe medical condition. His health had been seriously deteriorated in prison.
Background information: Reza Shahabi is the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, which belongs to the Municipality of Tehran and has about seventeen thousand employees. He has been incarcerated since June 2010. All Executive board members of this union have in the past been persecuted, dismissed and many were jailed since the formation of the Syndicate in 2005. Reza Shahabi was sentenced to six year imprisonment and five year ban on all union activities as well as 7 million Toman fine; the appeal court seems to have confirmed his sentence for four years imprisonment, five year ban on all union activities and 7 million toman penalty. Reza Shahabi's health deteriorated significantly after severe beatings and mistreatment following his arrest. As a result, he underwent cervical spine operation on July 24, 2012.
For more information and updates see:
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)