As International Workers’ Day approaches, the Islamic Republic judiciary has announced the trial dates for a number of detained members of Tehran’s Vahed public transit drivers union.
Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, Morteza Kamsari, Ali Akbar Nazari and Reza Shahabi are four labour activists and union members who will all stand trial within the next month.
Gholamhosseini is a union activist who was arrested last November and transferred to Rejaishahr Prison in Karaj. According to opposition media, interrogators have tortured Gholamhosseini to extract certain confessions.
Gholamhosseini was previously arrested in 2005 during widespread strikes and protests by public transit drivers. He was released after several weeks in Evin Prison and suspended from work for more than four years.
Kamsari another Vahed Union Member, was also arrested last November and is currently out on bail. He too had been previously detained during the 2005 protests and suspended from work for over a year.
Nazari, a Vahed transit driver, had a similar experience during the 2005 protests and was suspended from work for four years. He was arrested last November in a wave of labour activist arrests.
Shahabi, an executive member of the Vahed Transit Union, was arrested last June at his workplace and is now reportedly in ill health. Last November he went on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions and was transferred to hospital after 16 days. His plight triggered concern and immediate calls for his release from human rights organizations.
Mansour Osanlou and Ebrahim Madadi are two other labour activists currently serving out prison sentences in Iran.