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ITF ‘deeply concerned’ over renewed detention of Iranian trade unionist

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is raising serious concerns over reports that Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi is back behind bars.

The federation is hearing from Iran that Shahabi, treasurer of the ITF-affiliated Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, has been in detention in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Tehran since 9 August. 

Reza Shahabi, jailed originally in 2010, has been kept out of prison since 2014 due to medical conditions. His union reports that the extension of this medical leave was rejected by the authorities last week. One journalist based in the country has told the ITF that the Tehran prosecutor’s office has informed Shahabi’s family that he will remain incarcerated for the next 17 months.  

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said of the news from Iran: “Reza should not have been found guilty on the basis of his trade union activities to begin with. The ITF is very disturbed by this latest action being taken by the Iranian authorities against our affiliate.

“The ITF strongly reiterates its support for the latest recommendations made by the International Labour Organization’s Freedom of Association Committee which notes the Iranian government’s consideration of a pardon for Reza Shahabi and states the committee’s firm expectation that his sentence, along with that of fellow trade unionist Ebrahim Madadi, will be lifted definitively and that they will not be returned to prison.”

ENDS

 

 

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