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IWW Solidarity with Workers in Iran

By the International Solidarity Commission, 28.11.13

Whereas workers of the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) have asked us to issue a statement in solidarity with imprisoned union activist Reza Shahabi,

Be it resolved that the International Solidarity Commission send the following Statement of Solidarity to IASWI and publish it in IWW media (, the General Organization Bulletin, social media, etc.).

The Industrial Workers of the World protest the continued incarceration of Reza Shahabi, the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, and join his family's demand for his immediate release.

Reza was charges with “gathering and colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. These are all sham charges. Reza Shahabi is a worker and labour activist.

We condemn the imprisonment and persecution, and that of all other workers who organize and fight for better conditions in Iran, including Shahrokh Zamani, Mohammad Jarahi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, and Pedram Nasrolaahi.

We demand the immediate release of Reza Shahabi!


Background information received from the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

Workers, labor organizations and all people of conscious!

As you are all aware, Reza Shahabi, a transit worker and a member of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, has been incarcerated in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June 12, 2010, only because of his advocacy for workers’ rights and supporting the demands of his fellow workers.

During these years of unjust imprisonment, Reza has suffered from an array of health problems, including but not limited to: decaying of a few lower vertebrates, problems with back and neck disks, liver and kidney complications, numbness of feet and hands, heart issues and dental problems.

Because of such amalgamation of health issues, a cervical spine operation was performed on Reza in July 2012, but despite his physicians’ recommendations for further hospital care and physiotherapy, he was returned to his cell, which has further caused many problems.

After close to three and half years of incarceration, the coroner has examined Reza’s conditions inside Evin prison, and based on an MRI scan has determined that three lower vertebrates have been damaged and are in need of immediate surgery in a hospital. It should be noted that Reza has been suffering from lower back pain for months, his left foot becoming almost paralyzed as a result, with very little mobility left in it.

Due to numbness of left foot and severe back pain, on October 19, 2013, Reza was transferred to "Imam Khomeini Hospital". After all examinations, physicians have once again recommended that Reza is in no condition to be returned to a prison environment, and is in need of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy in a stress free environment outside of prison. They have also warned that unless such treatments are provided there is a very high possibility that his entire left side could be paralyzed.

We, the family of Reza Shahabi, his wife and two children, declare that based on doctors’ recommendations, Reza cannot endure prison conditions at all and must be released immediately. We hold security and judiciary officials responsible for Reza's severe condition. We ask all labor organizations and activists in Iran and around the world to continue protesting against Reza's prolonged incarceration.

Robabeh Rezaie (Spouse), Mohammad Amin Shahabi (son) and Shirin Shahabi (daughter)

Published by Reza Shahabi Defence Committee- October 23, 2013 Phone number for Committee’s spokesperson, Mr., Mahomud Salehi: 09357353412 Translated by IASWI