July 29 2010
RMT LINKS UP WITH BRITISH MPS TO CAMPAIGN FOR
RELEASE OF IRANIAN TRADE UNION LEADER, REZA SHAHABI
UNION RMT has joined forces with British MP's and trade unionists around
the globe to campaign for the release of imprisoned Iranian transport
workers union leader Reza Shahabi.
Shahabi is the Treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and
Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) whose leadership has been targeted
for a wave of arrests and detentions without trial in recent years.
Reza Shahabi and another colleague Saeed Torabian who was arrested on 9
June but subsequently released, were suspended from work, without pay,
for four years following strikes by bus workers in Tehran in 2005.
They were reinstated after a Court investigation.
was arrested on 12 June 2010. When he arrived at work he was
summoned to the headquarters of the Bus Company, where he was arrested by
security officials. They took him to his house, which they
searched, and confiscated his computer. Shahabi is reported to have
been transferred to section 209, the intelligence section of Tehran's
notorious Evin prison.
Parliamentary Convenor John McDonnell has tabled Early Day Motion 633 on
Reza Shahabi's arrest and imprisonment in the torture section of Evin
prison in Tehran. The EDM is drawing cross-party support.
this House deplores the arrest without charge by the Iranian authorities
of Reza Shahabi, Treasurer of the Tehran Bus Workers Union, on 12 June
2010; is dismayed by this arrest which is the latest in a series of
instances of the persecution of trade unionists in Iran; is deeply
concerned that Reza Shahabi is being held in section 209 of the Evin
prison which is notorious as a torture centre; is further concerned that
he has been held in solitary confinement without any contact from family
or friends for two months; notes that Amnesty International believes Reza
Shahabi is very likely to be a prisoner of conscience and is being held
solely on account of his trade union activities; believes the continued
detention of Reza Shahabi places Iran in contravention of its agreement
to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and calls on
the Iranian government to release immediately Reza Shahabi and for the UK
Government to do all within its power to assist in his release."
have also tabled questions to the Foreign Secretary urging UK Government
intervention on Reza's case.
General Secretary Bob Crow said:
is important that the Iranian Government understand that the
international trade union movement are aware of their actions and that we
will continue to mobilise high-profile campaigns in support of Reza
Shahabi and others facing similar oppression as a result of their union
further details see:
Amnesty International -
'IRANIAN TRADE UNIONISTS HELD INCOMMUNICADO' http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/063/2010/en/ed7c649f-ba4e-46e6-821b-aae9bc1d6921/mde130632010en.html
International Transport Workers'
Federation - Tehran Bus Dispute http://www.itfglobal.org/urban-transport/tehranbuses.cfm
103 or 0207 255 9146