Iran: Reza Shahabi’s life in danger due to a second stroke

Imprisoned labor activist, Reza Shahabi, has been denied hospitalization despite suffering a second stroke, according to a statement by the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (UWTSBC) published on December 14, 2017.

“During a prison visit on Wednesday [December 13, 2017], his relatives noticed that the left side of Shahabi’s face was drooping and that his left eye had sunken in,” reported the UWTSBC. “He said when he went to the prison clinic, the doctor told him he had suffered a mild stroke.”

“Even after his stroke, Shahabi was not transferred to the hospital for a checkup to prevent him from getting worse,” continued the UWTSBC.

The Spain’s largest trade union, Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) also in a statement called for the immediate release of Reza Shahabi.

In a letter addressed to the UWTSBC on his critical condition, Shahabi’s wife, Rubaba Rezaie expressed concern over Shahabi’s condition and said: “My husband, Reza Shahabi, has suffered two heart strokes over the past two weeks in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj. His condition is critical but they (prison authorities) deny him to access treatment in a hospital. Before my wife strokes, a specialist told that he cannot tolerate prison conditions. His prison sentence terminated on August 9, 2017, but he still being unjustly held in prison.

Reza Shahabi is suffering from kidney infection, frequent urination, persistent headaches and numbness in his legs. He was transferred to Tehran’s Khomeini Hospital with handcuffs on Saturday December 2. Despite the doctors’ emphasis that Shahabi could not tolerate prison conditions, agents transferred him back to prison. Reza Shahabi is suffering from these ailments because he was beaten during interrogations when arrested in 2010.

Shahabi was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to six years in prison. He went on medical furlough after four years but was taken back to prison despite an apparent medical condition requiring regular treatment. Shahabi went on hunger strike in Rejai Shahr prison in Karaj on August 8th, to protest his lack of access to adequate medical care. His photo has been spotted in many of the worker protests. Recently, Tehran bus drivers gathered in front of the Ministry of Labor demanding Shahabi’s release, according to reports.

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