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Issue #1794      September 13, 2017

CPA statement

Reza Shahabi, Iranian trade unionist on hunger strike

The Communist Party of Australia condemns in the strongest possible terms the treatment of trade unionist Reza Shahabi currently on hunger strike in the Rajai Shahr Prison in Iran.

Reza Shahabi is a member of the board of directors of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. He and other members of the union are persecuted and imprisoned for their vital work of creating an organisation independent of government and employers in order to serve its own members. For this reason Reza Shahabi and others have been fired, imprisoned and beaten.

Reza Shahabi was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to five years in prison. While serving his five-year sentence, Shahabi was again called to court and sentenced to an additional year in jail.

Due to the physical harm caused by violent treatment in prison, he had to undertake two surgical interventions to his neck and waist. While his medical leave from jail was ordered by his doctors, the security forces and judicial authorities who oversaw the illegal proceedings against him considered the entire period of medical leave for Reza Shahabi to be an absence from jail and that he should now remain in prison for another 968 days.

Reza has been on hunger strike to protest against this unlawful and unfair ruling. This brave trade unionist, who is a bus driver and a board member of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, has been on hunger strike since August 9, 2017.

The Communist Party of Australia adds its voice to the many others across the world demanding the immediate release from prison of Reza Shahabi and an end to the persecution of trade unionists in Iran.

Next article – “We don’t support this cashless welfare card”

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