Unionist Reza Shahabi on Wet Hunger Strike
Reza Shahabi, an imprisoned board member of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), ended his dry hunger strike but remains on wet hunger strike. The information was confirmed by Hassan Shahabi, Reza Shahabi’s brother, who spoke with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran yesterday. “I talked to my brother by phone yesterday afternoon at 4:30. He said by requests from a number of labor and political activists, as well as from his family who were concerned about his condition, he has ended his dry hunger strike as of today, but he will remain on wet hunger strike,” Shahabi said.
“Yesterday, I went to the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office. They said his case was sent to the Revolutionary Courts, and so I have to go to the Revolutionary Courts tomorrow and find out,” Hassan Shahabi said about the developments in his brother’s case. When asked how human rights organizations could help his brother Shahabi said, “I hope that through the dissemination of information by these organizations, the government would be convinced to release him from prison and to [allow him] to return home. He has two small children for whom life without their father is very difficult.”
Regarding his brother’s health condition while on hunger strike Shahabi said, “I could tell from his voice that he was talking with difficulty and in spurts. From now on he is only going to drink water and this will only add to his problems. His digestive problems, gum infection, and backache also remain.”
Reza Shahabi was dismissed from his job at the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company four years ago. He is the sole breadwinner for his wife and two young kids who live in a rented apartment.
Reza Shahabi was arrested at work on 12 June and detained in solitary confinement for 40 days. So far his charges are not known. Shahabi was fired from his job four years ago due to his union activities. Shahabi was up for release on bail twice, but both times there was opposition to his release. The first time the bail amount was set at $60,000, and the second time it was raised to $100,000.
In addition to Shahabi, at the present time other labor activists including Mansour Ossanlou, Ebrahim Maddadi, Morteza Kamsari, Gholam Reza Hosseini, and Ali Akbar Nazari are also in prison.