Day of action to free Iranian transport union leader

27 July 2007

A vigil is to be held on 9 August at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran at 16 Prince's Gate London SW7 1PT (nearest tube South Kensington). The object is to protest at the imprisonment of transport union leader Mansour Osanloo.

Mansour Osanloo is being held without charge in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after being assaulted and kidnapped by unidentified gunmen. The imprisonment is the latest event in a two year government campaign against Osanloo and his Tehran bus drivers’ union. Meetings have been broken up and supporters jailed and beaten.

On Wednesday Osanloo’s wife and lawyer went to see Judge Hadad seeking permission to visit him. The Judge refused to meet them and his staff said that Osanloo was in jail for ‘threatening national security’. On the same day guards refused to accept medicine for Osanloo that his sister and a union colleague attempted to deliver to him.

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has called the action day to put pressure on the Iranian Government to treat Osanloo and his union ‘in the way that decency, Iranian and international law demands’. 9 August is the anniversary of his release from jail in 2006 following worldwide trade union protests.

Osanloo, 47, was assaulted and snatched from a bus on 10 July - just weeks after returning from a visit to the ITF in London and meetings with union leaders in Brussels,. Only after protests did the government admit that he had been taken to Evin prison where he has been denied legal and medical visits.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft urges mass support for the day of action. ‘It is appalling that he should be held without charge simply for insisting on his human right to join a trade union.’

The 9 August action day is backed by the ITUC. It is also an opportunity to express support for Mahmoud Salehi, a co-founder of the Saqez Bakery Workers’ Association and the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organisations, who has also been jailed for asserting the right to undertake the legal trade union activities - which should be guaranteed by Iran’s ratification of ILO conventions 87 and 98.


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