Two Iranian trade unionists briefly imprisoned

Imprisoned: Mansour Osanloo

Two more Iranian trade unionists were detained today while a third continues to be imprisoned.

December 3, 2006 - According to a news release issued by the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), two other members of the Board of Directors of the union were arrested today, December 3rd, 2006 in Tehran's Khavaran bus terminal but were released late this evening. They are scheduled to appear in court tomorrow morning, December 4, 2006. At the time this news release was issued, no charges against the above union members had been laid.

According to this report, two members of the Board of Directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), Seyed Davoud Razavi and Abdolreza Tarazi, were arrested today, December 3, 2006, by the security police officers belonging to the police station division number 6, and were transported to the same station subsequently. In a radio interview, Mr. Ebrahim Madadi, the Union’s vice-president, reported that at the time of their arrests, these two union activists were distributing the union’s leaflets in Tehran's Khavaran Bus Terminal. One flyer was the translation of the most recent protest letter sent by the International Trade Union Confederation to President Ahmadinejad regarding the continued arrest of Osanloo and the other was a recent statement by the syndicate about its achievements and activities in recent years. These two colleagues are amongst 50 suspended workers of the company who have been deprived of their salaries and all other entitlements since their job actions last year.

Mr. Mansour Osanloo, the President of the board of the union, has been incarcerated in Evin Prison since November 19, 2006. Despite mounting protests in Iran and internationally for the release of Osanloo he still remains in jail. Even today, many Social and labour activists and intellectuals in Iran issued a joint public statement condemning Osanloo’s re-arrest and demanding his immediate freedom.

Although Osanloo’s lawyers have finally been able to meet with him, they have not yet been able to access his file. Osanloo was also able to see his wife briefly while he was at Branch 14 of the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran a few days ago. Mr. Parviz Khorshid, one of Osanloo’s lawyers, has told official news agencies ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency) and ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) that he still does not know the charges against Osanloo. He also rejected the claim by the judicial authorities that Osanloo was re-arrested because of his failure to appear in court. Mr. Khorshid argued that there is no legal base for Osanloo’s arrest and he should be released without delay. He argues that Osanloo was released on bail thus was allowed to go free until his trial. When someone who is released on bail does not appear in court after being summoned, first the surety, the person who agrees to be responsible for the obligation, will be summoned to court. The surety may be forced to pay the bail money. He added that if someone is considered dangerous to society, the judge might directly issue the warrant for his arrest. He argued however that none of the above applies to Osanloo’s situation plus Osanloo is a labour activist not a danger to society. Moreover, Osanloo’s wife, Mrs. Parvaneh Osanloo, reports that Osanloo never missed any court hearing and never received a court summon that he had not responded to.

For more information, go to International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran
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