Jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi has begun a dry hunger strike, his wife revealed today.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that Robabeh Rezai, Shahabi’s wife, has informed them that her husband began his dry hunger strike on Saturday, when he received his six-year prison sentence.
Shahabi has reportedly told his wife that he will continue his strike until authorities change his sentence and move him to a hospital. Rezai quoted her husband as saying: “They have held me in limbo in jail for over 23 months and now they are giving me this heavy and unfair sentence.”
Shahabi insists that he has committed no crime to deserve the six years in jail. “I only defended my labour rights, and all my actions were in the framework of the law,” Shahabi has said.
Shahabi’s wife has expressed grave concern for her husband’s well-being since he is already suffering from various health complications.
Rezai reports that the jailed labour activist was supposed to undergo surgery two month ago, but the authorities have continually delayed the treatment.
Shahabi was arrested in June of 2010 and held in an undetermined state since then. He was an executive member of the Sherkat-e Vahed bus drivers’ union. All members of this union have been subjected to severe persecution by the Islamic Republic.