International support for Iranian trade unionist

05 March 2008

The International Transport Federation (ITF) has designated Rail Action Day (tomorrow, 6 March) a day of support for Mansour Osanloo, a transport trade unionist imprisoned in his native Iran. Members of UK rail unions ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite will be joined by trade unionists from the GMB and Unison. The TUC supports the event, along with Amnesty International, which has declared Osanloo a prisoner of conscience.


In London a demonstration will be held outside the Iranian Embassy at 16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PTF from 12:30 to 13:30. Prior to this, transport trade union leaders and politicians will gather at Parliament for a photo opportunity.


In Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Newcastle, rail trade unionists will leaflet passengers between 0730 and 0930 with details of the treatment that Mansour Onsanloo has endured at the hands of the Iranian authorities.


Mansour Osanloo, 48, is the elected leader of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, a trade union founded three years ago. Even though the organisation is free, democratic and legal it has been violently attacked by Iranian security forces. As a result of his work Osanloo has been beaten, arrested and had his tongue sliced as a warning against speaking out. He is now being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, where he is in danger of losing his sight in one eye due to a previous beating.


Keith Norman, ASLEF’s general secretary says, ’Mansour Osanloo is one of thousands of trade unionists imprisoned for their beliefs in countries across the globe. Our movement will not be free until they are all released.’

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