Continuing the campaign for the release of Reza Shahabi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and Shahrokh Zamani

2 August, Another international day of action in support of jailed workers in Iran

Call on all worker organisations worldwide

Reza Shahabi, Behanm Ebrahimzadeh and Shahrokh Zamani need urgent support

We need an international campaign to save the lives of jailed Iranian worker activists

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, instead of being 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. He continued his hunger strike though because he has been handcuffed to his hospital bed and not allowed him to visit with his family. As a result, they have removed his hand cuffs and let him meet his family. Reza continues to protest and insist on his demands. Finally on the fiftieth day of his hunger strike the authorities have agreed with Reza’s sick leave and allowed him medical care. He will be returned to jail when his doctors give the go ahead. After this agreement Reza stopped his hunger strike temporary.

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

Shahabi suffers from multiple medical conditions, including a severe back problem. Unfinished treatments have led to deterioration in his condition. The problems in his neck, back and arms and legs are threatening and might paralyse him.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has been in prison since June 2010 on a five-year sentence for union activities. During an assault on political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison on 17th June this year, he was among the prisoners who were severely beaten up and injured and moved to ward 240 of Evin prison. After 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 Intelligence. Torture and maltreatment are routinely practised as part of the interrogations.

We are concerned for Ebrahimzadeh’s wellbeing. Since being moved to Ward 209, he has had only one chance to meet with his family. However, following this visit, on June 27, the police raided Ebrahimzadeh’s home and took away his personal documents and his son’s computer. They threatened his wife and his 16 year old son, Nima, who is currently under treatment for leukaemia, a fact that has added to Ebrahimzadeh’s psychological distress.

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! Harassment of workers and their families must stop immediately!

Free Them Now! Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran
21 July 2014

Shahla Daneshfar
Bahram Soroush