ACT NOW: support trade union hunger striker in Iran

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Solidarity with Iranian workers

Reza Shahabi hunger strike

December 2010

The TUC is supporting a global trade union campaign in solidarity with Iranian trade union leader Reza Shahabi, who has been on hunger strike since 4 December in protest at his continuing imprisonment. Please email the Iranian Government.

The global campaign includes the ITUC, ITF and Amnesty International. We are calling on the authorities in Iran to release him immediately.

Reza Shahabi is the treasurer of the independent and unrecognised trade union, Sherkat-e Vahed. He was arrested on 12 June 2010, three days after the arrest of Saeed Torabian, the union's spokesperson. Saeed Torabian has since been released but there are six other members of Sherkat-e Vahed (the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company) in prison.

Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, Morteza Komsari and Ali Akbar Nazari have all been arrested since the beginning of November and we believe they are all prisoners of conscience, held solely on account of their peaceful trade union activities. Mansour Ossanloo, the head of the union and his deputy, Ebrahim Maddadi, are already serving prison sentences. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Please call on the Iranian authorities to release Reza Shahabi and all the other jailed trade unionists in Iran.

For more on repression of trade unionism in Iran, see the website of the International Trade Union Confederation and the website of Justice for Iranian Workers.

The TUC has written to the Iranian Ambassador in the UK protesting about the incarceration of these trade unionists. For more on the TUC's past actions on Iran, see our website.

H.E. Mr Rasoul Movahedian Attar
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince's Gate
London SW7 1PT

Dear Ambassador

On behalf of the British trade union movement, and its 6.2 million members, I would be grateful if you could urge your Government to release the imprisoned trade unionbist Reza Shahabi, currently on hunger strike.

The TUC understands that Reza Shahabi is the treasurer of the independent and unrecognised trade union, Sherkat-e Vahed. He was arrested on 12 June 2010, three days after the arrest of Saeed Torabian, the union's spokesperson. Saeed Torabian has since been released but there are six other members of Sherkat-e Vahed (the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company) in prison.

I would once again strongly urge your Government to abandon its vile repression of the bus workers trade unionists of Tehran and all other independent trade unionists in Iran. Iran can only benefit from the introduction of measures to guarantee respect for the basic norms of human and trade union rights.

Yours sincerely

BRENDAN BARBER

General Secretary

Briefing
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