Fresh Concerns For Iranian Trade Union Leader

Deteriorating eye sight prompts fresh concern for the fate of Iranian trade union leader, says Unite

Unite, together with Amnesty International, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the wider international trade union movement, has been actively campaigning for the release of Mansour Osanloo, the Iranian Bus Workers’ trade union leader, and his union deputy, Ebrahim Madadi since their arrest and imprisonment two years ago.

At that time, Mansour was sentenced to five years in prison purely for carrying out his legitimate trade union activities as leader of the Tehran Bus Workers. Madadi received three and a half years on the same charges. Mansour’s arrest was brutal and he suffered serious injuries. It took an international campaign to ensure he had access to the appropriate treatment, which came belatedly, when he was in severe danger of permanently losing sight in one eye.

Mansour is a prisoner of conscience, yet he has been moved to a prison where he is in the midst of criminals convicted of serious crimes such as murder. His health has again deteriorated and yet he has been denied permission to leave the prison for treatment – for his pre-existing conditions – and for the new ones gained through the denial of access to treatment. This is in spite of the fact that the prison’s medical examiner has called for medical leave for Mansour to be treated outside prison. Likewise, Madadi also has eye problems and is suffering from a prostate condition and diabetes.

Graham Stevenson, Unite national organiser for transport, and member of the ITF Executive Board, said: “Unite is appalled to hear this sad news with regard to our good friends and colleagues, Mansour and Ebrahim. We call on the Iranian authorities to grant them immediate access to medical treatment and to free them unconditionally from jail.

“They have committed no crime, but were unjustly arrested as they carried out their trade union duties in representing the bus drivers of Tehran. It is now time to show compassion and release both Mansour and Ebrahim before their health is damaged irreversibly.

“I call on our members to send off a message, via the Amnesty International website, to the Iranian authorities deploring the treatment of Mansour and calling on the Iranian authorities to free him unconditionally.”

The link is http://amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=628

ENDS

For further information contact Moira O’Shaughnessy (International department) on 020 7611 2631 or Ashraf Choudhury in the Unite Press Office on 020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761.

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