Twenty days into a hunger strike by jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi, labour organizations in various countries have expressed concern regarding Shahabi’s health.
The Committee in Defence of Reza Shahabi has issued a statement to report on the condition of the jailed executive member of Tehran’s Vahed Company transit drivers’ union. The statement reports: “Reza Shahabi is in very bad health after two and a half years of prison, interrogations and abuse and is in immediate need of medical treatment and relief.”
It goes on to add: “The only effective solution in this situation is the immediate release of Reza Shahabi and his hospitalization in a well-equipped institution.”
Reza Shahabi has been on hunger strike since December 17. He has been refusing food and medicine in protest against his mistreatment by prison authorities and demanding that he receive medical treatment outside of prison facilities.
The Committee in Defence of Reza Shahabi reports that labour organizations in France, UK, Denmark, the U.S. and Canada have written letters of support for Shahabi, demanding the authorities take responsibility for the jailed labour activist’s health.
On Tuesday, the Shahabi family gave the authorities a documented application calling for the release of Shahabi, but so far the authorities have not responded.
Shahabi was sentenced to six months in jail and a five-year ban from union activities. He is suffering from great pain due to neck and spine injuries and has been hospitalized on several occasions during his prison term.