Jailed Iranian trade unionist Rezaa Shahabi on hunger strike

Reza Shahabi is in an Iranian jail for no other reason than the part he played in the leadership of the Tehran busworkers' union. He has now been in jail since his arrest in June 2010, and his health has not been good.

His situation has deteriorated in the last few days. Last week protests at his being returned to jail from hospital appeared to have borne fruit: he was allowed back to hospital. But that progress has now been reversed, and he is believed to have once again been sent to Evin Prison, where as of Tuesday 22 November he has begun a hunger strike in protest. His family have been refused access to him since 20 November, and have received no news about his state of health.

International Transport Workers Federation general secretary David Cockroft stated: “Is this a cruel game of cat and mouse, or is it indicative of the conflicts within Iran between those backing moderation and those promoting repression? We don’t know. What we do know though is that it is well past time for Reza to be released and given treatment. His continuing detention shames Iran.”

Owen Tudor

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