International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary Sharan Burrow, has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Reza Shahabi, a member of the board of directors of Iran’s Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (UWTSBC), Radio Farda reports.
Burrow, while referring to what she has described as years of torture and inappropriate treatment of Shahabi behind bars, reiterated, “[Reza] the labor rights activist was on medical furlough but Tehran’s prosecutor-general refused to extend his parole.”
According to the letter, written to Iran regime’s President Hassan Rouhani, Reza Shahabi was forced to return to the Rajai Shahr (Gohardasht) prison in Karaj, where he found that the time he spent on medical leave was considered as “absence” and his jail term has been extended for another 968 days.
In a statement published on August 12, UWTSBC condemned Shahabi’s extended prison term. ITUC Secretary-General also wrote that Shahabi joined the hunger strike that was already started in Rajaii Shahr prison in protest to the “inhumane condition” of the prison. Sharan Burrow noted that imprisonment of Reza Shahabi is in contradiction with Iran’s international obligations.
“Keeping Reza Shahabi behind bars is against Iran’s international commitments, which prohibit detaining labor activists who are peacefully campaigning for workers’ rights”.
Earlier, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) issued a statement expressing their deep concern about the imprisonment of Reza Shahabi. Also, five labor union syndicates in France condemned Reza Shahabi’s arrest called for his immediate release.
In addition, Amnesty International has expressed concern about the health condition of Shahabi.