ICFTU OnLine – January 20, 2006(1)

Brussels, 20 January 2006 (ICFTU Online): Despite the release on December 27, 2005, of trade unionists from the Tehran bus company union who had been imprisoned since 22 and 25 December, the union’s President, Mansour Osanloo, is still being held. The ICFTU has repeatedly protested against this attack on freedom of association. The latest protest by the ICFTU was sent to President Ahmadinejad on 6 January, including a request to Juan Somavia, Director General of the International Labour Organisation, for the ILO to make representations to the government to obtain the release of the trade union leader.

Unfortunately the situation has not changed. Mansour Osanloo is still being detained and is being denied access to a lawyer and to the medical attention he needs. In addition, the accusations made against him are particularly concerning. They are said to include contacts with Iranian opposition groups abroad and incitement to armed revolt against the authorities. However, there is no evidence that the accusations are founded. The union president is not the only person in this situation.

The bank accounts of the union’s steering committee have been blocked and their wages are no longer being paid.

The continuous violations against trade union organisations in Iran are unacceptable to the ICFTU. They are proof that a new wave of repression against free and independent trade unions is under way. It even seems that these union organisations are being penalised for having contact with international organisations like the ILO are being penalised. The ICFTU hopes everything will be done to bring a speedy end to this situation.