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Mansour Osanloo

Mansour Osanlou

Mansour Osanloo is a leading trade union activist in Iran where he has been imprisoned several times from 2005 to 2008. Osanloo is currently held in Evin Prison, serving a five-year prison sentence. He is a founding member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, an independent union that has been campaigning vigorously for workers’ rights.

Background

Osanloo is President of the Executive Committee of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSCB), the transport workers' trade union in Tehran in Iran. He is in custody as of July 12 2007.

In December 2005 bus drivers in Tehran were refusing to take passengers' fares, as a protest called by both Osanloo and the SWTBC. This led to the arrest of several union activists on December 22, including Osanloo.

Tehran bus workers were due to strike on 28 January 2006 calling for his release and other demands. However early in the morning of that day hundreds of union activists were arrested.

The Scottish Socialist Party tabled a motion calling for his release before the Scottish Parliament. He was released on bail in July/August 2006 after being kept in solitary confinement for months.

According to eyewitness accounts, Osanloo was arrested for a second time on November 19 2006 under very suspicious circumstances, along with Ebrahim Madadi, the vice-president of Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. Osanloo and Madadi were beaten by a group of armed militia and were taken away after shots were fired into the air. This seems to be another case where special police and state-sponsored undercover security named Ansar-e Hezbollah are used in arresting and silencing social and political activists.

In November 2006 he was released on bail of £164,000. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term in March 2007. However, he was allowed to travel to London, England for the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) conference and to Brussels, Belgium for a meeting with the International Trade Union Confederation(ITUC) in June 2007.

He was arrested again in July 2007 and remains in the custody of Iranian authorities.

According to 2007 reports by the ITF, Osanloo is in imminent risk of losing his eyesight due to injuries sustained by government security forces in May 2005 and exacerbated by a lack of proper medical care by the Iranian authorities while in custody.

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