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Issue #1650      August 6, 2014

Release Iranian unionist

Statement, CFMEU Construction

The Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (NSW Branch) writes to condemn the continued incarceration of Reza Shahabi, the Treasurer and Executive Board member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, known as “Vahed Syndicate”, who has been imprisoned since June 2010. His only crime was to represent the members of his union and Iranian workers and people.

Mr Shahabi’s treatment is unacceptable. He was brutally attacked and beaten during his arrest and interrogations, and severely suffered both physically and psychologically. He spent 19 months in solitary confinement and during this time his family were not informed of his situation. He has been sentenced to six years of imprisonment, banned for five years from any trade union activities, and a fine of 7,500,000 Toman, (the equivalent of about US$3,000), on the vague charges of “propaganda against the state” and “acting against national security”.

As the result of enduring psychological and physical abuses, he now suffers from multiple illnesses, including severe neck and back pain associated with disc herniation, numbness of feet and hands, liver and kidney complications, decaying of his lower vertebrates and heart issues.

The continued violation of Mr Shahabi’s human rights is deplorable and the CFMEU, along with many other international activists, call for his immediate release, medical care and compensation for his massive injuries.

Yours in solidarity,

Rita Mallia
State President

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