Reza Shahabi

Iranian labour activist, Reza Shahabi ended his hunger strike in priosn yesterday after over two weeks on strike in protest to his undetermined legal state.

Reza Shahabi, an executive member of Sherkat-e Vahed public transportation for Tehran and the suburbs drivers union, was on a hunger strike in protest to the judiciary’s refusal to make a decision about his case.

Reza Shahabi, who was the treasurer of the Sherkat-e Vahed drivers union, was arrested in June by intelligence officers after being called to the central office of Sherkat-e Vahed and interrogated for over six months at Evin Prison.

Shahabi was amongst the people who were suspended from work during the labour strikes of Sherkat-Vahed workers in 2005. Shortly before his arrest, after four years of unemployment and receiving no income, the labour court had finally returned him back to work.

Human rights activists report that Shahabi has been subjected to physical and mental abuse to accept the state-devised charges against him.

On the seventh day of his hunger strike, Shahabi was transferred to the hospital after his health condition became critical.
On September, after the authorities announced Shahabi could be released on bail, his family prepared a 60,000-dollar bail for him but the authorities then demanded $100,000.

Although two months has elapsed since the judiciary issued Shahabi’s release order, they have not processed his case and he remains in an undetermined legal state.

Currently in addition to Reza Shahabi, Manosour Osanlo, Ebrahim Madadi, Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, Morteza Kamsari, and Ali Akbar Nazari are the other Shehrkat-e Vahed executive union members who are imprisoned by Iranian authorities.

Mohammad Nourizad, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Arash Sadeghi and Gholamhossein Arshi are four political prisoners who are currently on hunger strike in Islamic Republic prisons in protest to the actions of the judiciary.

Recently Iranian opposition leader, MirHosein Mousavi lauded the resistance of the prisoners on hunger strike but urged them to end it delivering a message of concern from all Iranians. Numerous concerned political, social and cultural figures of the country have also called on the prisoners to end their hunger strike.