Reza Shahabi

A jailed Iranian labour activist has ended a 30-day hunger strike after being hospitalized.

The Centre for the Defence of Workers Rights and the Committee for the Defence of Reza Shahabi reported that Shahabi was hospitalized last night and put in intensive care. At the request of his family and numerous labour and political activists, Shahabi has agreed to end his hunger strike today.

Doctors, who report that he is in critical condition, have also diagnosed him with acute anaemia.

Shahabi has been suffering from grave neck and back complications and needs immediate surgery.

He indicated that because he has finally been transferred to hospital and will be undergoing surgery under the supervision of his family, he was willing to end his hunger strike.

Shahabi’s family has urged authorities to release him.

Shahabi’s lawyer announced this week that he has not been recalled to court since June and he has been under temporary arrest for more than 15 months.

Shahabi, who is the treasurer of the Sherkat-e Vahed bus drivers union, was involved in the bus drivers’ strike of four years ago, which led to his dismissal. He fought back and won in the Labour Justice Court, but he’d only been back on the job for a few days when he was arrested again last June.

He began a hunger strike last month to protest his undetermined judicial state and the refusal of prison authorities to provide for his medical needs.