Reza Shahabi , a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, is on his 8th day of hunger strike, which started on June 13, 2022. For more than a week, the prison authorities refused his spouse a visit. Shahabi was finally able to call his family on June 19, 2022. In his phone call, Shahabi said, despite being on a hunger strike and unwell, his interrogation has been continuing and the interrogator is continuing to pressure and torment him.

Shahabi further said that an investigator, named Haj Mardai, came to see him a few days ago and asked him the reason for the hunger strike. Shahabi reiterated that he is on hunger strike in protest at false allegations and threats and insults by his interrogator, nonstop interrogation, the lack of medical care and the poor conditions of the prison cells.

Reza Shahabi was arrested on May 12, 2022. In addition to neck and back pains and surgeries due to the severe beatings during his previous arrests and detentions, he also has fluctuations in blood pressure, and the left half of his body, including his face, is numb.

Tehran bus workers syndicate, while expressing deep concerns about the serious physical and psychological conditions of this imprisoned worker, considers any physical consequences of the interrogator’s pressures on Reza Shahabi to be the sole responsibility of the judiciary and other government authorities and stresses that Reza Shahabi must be immediately transferred to hospital for treatment. This is one of the most basic rights of a prisoner.

Updates on Hassan Saeidi :

During visits to the Evin Prison Courthouse on June 18th and 20th, 2022, by Ms. Nasrin Rahimi, the spouse of Hassan Saeedi, a well-known member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, she was informed that the detention of this union activist has been extended for another month.

Hasssn Saeidi’s detention has been extended while he had informed his spouse that his interrogation had ended about two weeks and he should have been released unconditionally or on bail. This imprisoned worker is still unjustly detained in Ward 209 of Evin Prison. He was arrested on May 18, 2022.

A number of other well known labour activists continue to be in prison since their unwarranted arrests in May and have been under heavy interrogation, including Anisha Asadollahi, Reyhaneh Ansari Nejad, Keyvan Mohtadi, as well as a number of prominent teachers and members of the Coordinated Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations including Rasoul Bodaghi, Eskandar Lotfi, Jafar Ebrahim, Mohammad Habibi, Shaban Mohammadi and Masoud Nikkhah and many others.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company strongly condemns the baseless arrests and false charges against trade union activists and teachers in Iran, and demands the immediate and unconditional release of Reza Shahabi, Hassan Saeidi, and other imprisoned labour activists and teachers. We thank our colleagues in the international labour movements for their support and solidarity and urge our allies to continue pressuring the Iranian government for the freedom of all imprisoned trade union activists and respecting the right to organize, assemble and freedom of association.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Vahed Syndicate)

June 20, 2022