Monday, December 18, 2017

For Immediate Release

Iran: Free Ailing Labor Activist
Medical Issues After Possible Stroke

(Beirut, December 16, 2017) – Iranian authorities should immediately release Reza Shahabi, a prominent labor activist, after he suffered a possible stroke in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. Medical experts who examined Shahabi said that he should be released for medical reasons.

The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC), of which Shahabi is a member, said that Shahabi told his family of his condition during a December 13, 2017 prison visit. He said he had seen the prison doctor after symptoms that included “drooping on the left side of his face.” Shahabi told his family that the doctor told him that he had probably had a mini-stroke, but that the doctor had not conducted any further medical examinations or follow-up.

“Allowing Reza Shahabi’s health to deteriorate further in prison, especially when he was imprisoned solely for his peaceful activism in the first place, is just cruel,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Iranian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Shahabi.”

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