Category Archives: Labor/Unions

Reza Shahabi in worrisome health continues hunger strike after 37 days

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Labor activist Reza Shahabi held in Rajai Shahr prison has lost 15 kilograms and lost consciousness several times in the past days while he continues his hunger strike that has now exceeded 37 days.

CHRR reports that according to the Committee to Defend Reza Shahabi, the labor activist has severe fluctuations in his blood pressure prompting his transfer by his cellmates to the prison infirmary several times. But Shahabi refused to have a serum administered at the infirmary and his health is plummeting at an alarming rate.

Reza Shahabi, a prominent labor activist and board member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) was already in poor health before he launched his hunger strike in prison. The left side of his body was paralyzed and physicians had requested an immediate disc and spinal surgery.

At the same time Reza Shahabi’s family has on numerous occasions gone to the Tehran Prosecutor’s office (mr. Khodabakhsh) to request an order to perform surgery but never received an answer. In light of being ignored by mr. Khodabkhsh, Reza Shahabi’s family has threatened to also go on hunger strike in protest.

Mr. Shahabi went on hunger strike on June 1st when he was illegally transferred from Evin prison to Rajai Shahr prison. In a letter to the Tehran Prosecutor Shahabi criticized the sub-standard conditions in Rajai Shahr prison and also stated his demands for ending his hunger strike as follows:

1-    be returned to Evin prison Ward 350

2-    be granted sick leave for medical treatment and disc operation

3-    implementation of Article 134 of the new Islamic Penal Code

4-    enforcement of legal medical furlough

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Reza Shahabi hunger strike

 


Labor activist Reza Shahabi in deteriorating health behind bars

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Jailed labor activist Reza Shahabi’s health is plunging behind bars as prison officials refuse to grant furlough for his medical needs. The treasurer of Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) has said he will resort to going on hunger strike in protest.

Mahmoud Salehi, labor activist and spokesperson for Committee to Defend Reza Shahabi in Iran, said in an interview with CHRR, “Mr. Reza Shahabi has been in very poor health since his return behind bars from furlough. He is in excruciating pain in his neck area, suffers from a cervical and spine injury, and has dangerous fluctuations in his blood pressure. Despite all of this, he has not been seen by a specialist physician while behind bars. He and his family have made numerous requests for him to be transferred to a hospital to receive necessary care, but to no avail. The officials just take him to the Evin prison infirmary as an outpatient and give him pain medication.”

Salehi was asked about the types of pain medication that are administered to Reza Shahabi behind bars. “The physicians employed in the infirmaries of Iran’s prisons are general practitioners. Since most prisoners are non-political, the GP’s just to the minimum needed to get the prisoners out of the infirmary and there is no separation of political or criminal prisoners. They usually just give the prisoners pain killers and sleeping pills because they are not specialists and don’t have access to any other type of medication.”

Mahmoud Salehi, labor activist and former political prisoner, made a request that Reza Shahabi be transferred to a hospital with specialized care and not be taken to a public facility that is not capable of handling Shahabi’s medical needs.

CHRR asked the spokesperson for Committee to Defend Reza Shahabi about the possibility of another hunger strike. “We have made a request to Mr. Shahabi that he refrain from going on another hunger strike. However we cannot make decisions for a prisoner because we are free and not behind bars; we cannot fully know the circumstances that the prisoner is faced with in prison. Only the prisoner profoundly suffers the experience, faces the difficulties and endures the hardships.”

In ending Mahmoud Salehi while expressing his deep worry for Reza Shahabi said, “At the very least I hope a new case file is not generated for Mr. Shahabi with the excuse that he had a leave of absence, so that he can finally receive his crucial medical care after the end of his prison term in [late March 2014].

CHRR

وضعیت جسمی‌ رضا شهابی مجدداً وخیم شده است

Deteriorating health of jailed labor activist Reza Shahabi

Reza Shahabi


3 labor activists sentenced to one year each in prison

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Vafa Ghaderi, Behzad Farajalhi and Khaled Hsseini, three labor activists from Kurdistan province and members of Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations were handed a one-year prison sentence each on the charge of “propaganda against the regime.”

According to CHRR, Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations reported that the 3 activists were put on trial in absentia at Branch 1 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court; Vafa Ghaderi on July 2nd, Behzad Farajalhi on July 3rd, and Khaled Hosseini on July 6th.

Ghaleb Hosseini, another member of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations was put on trial on June 30th, at Branch 1 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Babayi on the same charges and his sentencing has not been announced yet. In a related incident, on Tuesday June 25, the family of a jailed labor activist, Jalil Mohammadi congregated in front of the Sanandaj prosecutor’s office in protest of his arbitrary arrest and lack of follow-up on his case.

CHRR

محکومیت سه فعال کارگری به ۱ سال حبس تعزیری

3 labor activists sentenced to one year each in prison 

labor activists Iran


Arrest of labor activist Mohammad Ahyayi in Karaj

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – The wave of arrests of labor activists continued as Mohammad Ahyayi, a worker at an automotive company in the outskirts of Tehran was detained on Saturday May 4th.

According to CHRR per reports from news sources in Karaj, in the afternoon of Saturday May 4, 2013, Mohammad Ahyayi was about to leave his workplace when he was summoned to the factory’s offices, questioned by several plainclothes officials and detained.

Reports indicate that a few months ago Mohammad Ahyayi and several other protesting labor activists were planning on going on strike due to disputes over wages and the management of the factory. Police presence was heavy at the facility and the agents clashed with the factory workers.

On Saturday May 4th, security agents also raided the home of Mohammad Ahyayi while making threats and hurling insults at his family. After conducting a search of his residence, the agents confiscated various personal items including his computer.

There is no news of the whereabouts or situation of Mr. Ahyayi despite his family and friends’ efforts to obtain information by visiting the Karaj Revolutionary Court and the surrounding prison facilities.

In the past few days a number of labor activists have been detained; Mohammad Ghasemkhani and Bahram Saeedi from Tehran, Aran Zandi, Fardin Ghaderi, Shahpour Hosseini and Jalil Mohammadi from Sanandaj.

CHRR

Arrest of labor activist Mohammad Ahyayi in Karaj

بازداشت محمد احیایی، فعال کارگری معترض در کرج

prisoner


Arrest of labor activists Mohammad Ghasemkhani and Bahram Saeedi

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Following the wave of arrests of labor activists, Mohammad Ghasemkhani and Bahram Saeedi were detained on Thursday, May 2nd, one day after engaging in a sit-in protest in front of the Parliament of the Islamic Council.

According to CHRR, Mohammad Ghasemkhani, a labor activist form Iran Khodro Factory, was accosted by plain clothes officers equipped with wireless equipment as he was entering the factory at the start of his workday. He attempted to resist but was forcibly taken to the security area of the factory and transferred to a police vehicle. The same day officials raided the home of Mohammad Ghasemkhani in Tehran, and after conducting a search the agents confiscated various personal items.

Bahram Saeedi, another labor activist and factory worker had taken part in the sit-in protest in font of the Parliament building on May 1st commemorating International Workers’ Day. The following day on May 2nd, Saeedi was summoned to the factory’s office when he arrived to begin his workday and was subsequently detained by plainclothes officials. Agents also conducted a search of Bahram Saeedi’s home in Karaj after his arrest.

According to obtained reports, there is no information on the situation or whereabouts of the detained labor activists.

After the ruling establishment refused to grant permits for commemorating International Workers’ Day (May 1st), a number of labor and union activists and workers demonstrated in various areas in protest of the current working conditions. One of the groups staged the sit-in in front of the Parliament building on Wednesday, May 1st, but they were immediately dispersed by security forces and the Parliament building guards.

CHRR 

Arrest of labor activists Mohammad Ghasem Khani and Bahram Saeedi

بازداشت محمد قاسم خانی و بهرام سعیدی، دو فعال کارگری در تهران و کرج

Arrest


Behnam Ebrahimzadeh’s son hospitalized again

Committee of Human Rights Reporters –   Nima Ebrahimzadeh, son of labor activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, was hospitalized again on Saturday April 27th at Mahak Hospital in order to undergo another round of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

CHRR reports that Nima Ebrahimzadeh, son of incarcerated labor activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh who is on temporary release due to his son’s condition, was diagnosed with cancer three months ago. Nima’s condition worsened as he refused to eat or drink due to the stress of his father’s imprisonment. He is now hospitalized again in the pediatric cancer facility in order to give more blood tests and undergo another round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment for his cancer.

While the extension of furlough was first denied for Behnam Ebrahimzadeh who was ordered to present himself at Evin prison on April 20th, his cancer stricken son Nima was hospitalized, stricken with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count). When Nima’s medical documents were presented to the prosecutor’s office, the labor activist was given a few days extension in order to be by his son’s side at the hospital.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, member of Committee to Pursue Establishment of Labor Unions and Association to Defend Child Laborers, was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on June 12, 2010. Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court handed down a 20-year prison sentence, which was later commuted by the appellate court to 5 years in prison.

CHRR   Behnam Ebrahimzadeh’s son hospitalized again

Nima Ebrahimzadeh


Members of the Association to Defend Child Laborers visit with Behnam and Nima Ebrahimzadeh

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – On April 22nd, a number of child laborers along with members of the Association to Defend Child Laborers visited labor activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and his hospitalized son Nima at Mahak Hospital in Tehran.

According to CHRR, members of the association and a number of child laborers from the Nemat Abad area went to the hospital for a visit and shared their stories with Nima, the hospitalized cancer stricken son of the labor activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh.

During the visit, which lasted about an hour, the children made introductions to Nima and shared their stories; what line of work they did, how old they were when they had to start working, and gave a description of their daily life routines.

One child by the name of Jabar described his difficult working conditions and explained how he had managed to obtain his diploma while working with the help of activists from the Association to Defend Child Laborers. Another child named Kabir shared that he continues his studies even though he works as a vendor in the streets and in the subway stations. Nima Ebrahimzadeh told his peers about his illness and shared how the stress of his father being jailed had made him sick. He continued that he would fight his disease and like them, he intended to continue his studies despite his obstacles.

In January 2013 Behnam Ebrahimzadeh wrote a letter from prison insisting on being granted temporary leave to see his cancer stricken child. A group of political prisoners from Rajai Shahr prison also released a statement calling for the release of the father in order to be by the side of his ailing son.

On April 20th while the extension of furlough was denied for incarcerated blogger, labor and child activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, his cancer stricken son Nima was hospitalized.

According to CHRR, with the denial of an extension for his father’s furlough, the stressed young Nima Ebrahimzadeh was stricken with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) and was hospitalized in Mahak Hospital in Tehran. The children’s rights advocate had been granted furlough on 200 million tomans bail, but he was ordered by judiciary officials to return to prison despite his son’s illness.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, member of Committee to Pursue Establishment of Labor Unions and Association to Defend Child Laborers, was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on June 12, 2010. Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court handed down a 20-year prison sentence, which was later commuted by the appellate court to 5 years in prison.

CHRR

Members of the Association to Defend Child Laborers visit with Behnam and Nima Ebrahimzadeh

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