Two weeks ago I wrote of Tehran Bus Workers’ Union treasurer Reza Shahabi, eight days into a dry hunger strike (nil by mouth) at Evin Prison. Shahabi’s demand for basic rights for he and his fellow workers in the first instance and for justice with regards to his arrest and imprisonment for this very fight in the second, lasted 16 days. He ended his hunger strike on 19 December following calls from workers unions worldwide who sent statements in his support including one from the TUC “On behalf of the British trade union movement, and its 6.2m members”.
Reza Shahabi now sends a New Year message of thanks from his prison ward:
To workers and workers’ organisations throughout the world!
On the occasion of the coming New Year 2011, I would like to extend my congratulations to my beloved co-workers and fellow-workers throughout the world.
While my fellow workers and I have been incarcerated for our advocacy of workers’ rights in Iran, and our demands for the creation of independent workers’ organisations in Iran, many workers’ organisations throughout the world have rallied in our support, and have condemned the treatment we have received in jail.
While I was on hunger strike, I received a multitude of support from workers and their organisations throughout the world. I would like to acknowledge and thank each of you for your messages of solidarity.
I hope that through our solidarity we shall be able to overcome all obstacles in achieving our goals of justice, freedom and equality, and through our daily efforts transcend capitalism and achieve what rightly belongs to us.
I wish for a day when all of us will be able to live a decent and humane life, without any wars or violence.
Finally I wish you all a happy New Year, full of success, health and unity.
I warmly shake all your hands
Ward 209, Evin Prison, Tehran
26, December 26 2010 (5 Dey, 1389)