Thursday, June 01, 2006

MANSOUR OSANLOO UPDATE

Remember the striking bus-workers in Tehran?

Here's an update from RoozOnline, courtesy of Regime Change Iran:
Mansour Osanloo, the head of Iran’s bus syndicate who was arrested some months ago continues to be in prison because, in the words of Ayatollah Mousavi Khoeiniha, an advisor to the supreme leader, until the secretary general of Iran’s largest student organization Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat is coerced into a televised confession of purchase of weapons from abroad and links to foreigners.

Imprisoned defense attorney Nasser Zarafshan who was on leave from prison for a few days during the Iranian new year feast (March 22) also brought news of Osanloo’s health and condition in prison. “Osanloo did not agree to make fake concessions or repent as requested by his interrogators,” he said. Recently a letter signed by about 445 prominent Iranians was sent to officials calling for Osanloo’s release. The letter complains about the conditions under which Osanloo is being kept in solitary confinement while being denied all his constitutional rights.

Osanloo was an activist of the Bus drivers Sherkate Vahed syndicate of Iran who was arrested in late January of 2006 in connection with his syndicate activities, along with other activists. All others were subsequently released, except Osanloo. Recently the student committee of a local human rights organization said that Osanloo had suffered serious stomach bleeding caused by pressure but he is still being denied proper medical care at a hospital.

His complainant is Tehran’s prosecutor who despite domestic and international pressure continues to deny a bail for his release.

When the drivers syndicate was formed, Osanloo is on record to have written that they were after peaceful and civil work to attain their professional rights, rejecting any form of violence for their goals. “All we ask is that officials change their pay check for one month with us, workers, and see if they can sustain their life with our pays. If they can, then we would not even need a syndicate,” he has said (see Hanouz webblog).
There's a good timeline of events surrounding this affair on the website of the International Transport Workers' Federation. Although many of the union workers appear to have been released, things are still looking pretty bleak for Mansour Osanloo. Last week the NY Sun reported:
A video surfaced over the weekend of the leader of Iran's striking bus drivers, Mansour Osanloo, discussing and showing the results of his torture, including a gash on his chin and a hole in his tongue, at the hands of his jailors earlier this year.
Grim.

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