distribution in Tehran
about Reza Shahabi’s
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
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
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
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
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’
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
89/5/12 (August 3,
and redistributed by the IASWI, firstname.lastname@example.org