ITUC OnLine – September 7, 2007

Brussels, 7 September 2007 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has received from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) the information that the wife and sister of the imprisoned Iranian bus union leader, Mansour Osanloo, were briefly arrested on 3 September 2007 in Tehran, after they attempted to meet with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who was visiting Iran.

Parvaneh Osanloo, the wife of the leader of the Tehran bus workers’ union, Sandikaye Kargarane Sherkate Vahed, and his sister, visited the United Nations building in Tehran last Monday 3 September to meet with High Commissioner Louise Arbour. She was in Tehran to address the issue of detained students. Osanloo’s wife and sister planned to highlight the case of Osanloo, who has been in prison since 10 July, charged with “conspiring against national security”.

After talking with Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel peace prizewinner, who was due to meet with Arbour herself, the two were bundled into cars by plainclothes police officers. Relatives of a number of detained students who were also there to see Arbour were arrested along with the two women. Following the incident, Ebadi protested vehemently and a few minutes later they were released.

Meanwhile, the spouses of other members of the Tehran bus workers’ union, Ebrahim Madadi, Davoud Razavi and Homayoun Jaberi, were permitted to visit their husbands in Evin Prison on Monday. The men were arrested along with four others on 9 August, after they attempted to visit Osanloo’s family during the joint international day of trade union action. The action day, which was organised by the ITF and the International Trade Union Confederation, aimed to lobby for the release of Osanloo and a bakery union leader Mahmoud Salehi both of whom remain in detention. The ITUC notes, however, that the day of action has already led to initial results. Within a few days of the action, Ossanloo was allowed to hold a meeting with his lawyers in Evin prison and to call his wife, while Salehi received medical treatment in a hospital outside of Sanandaj prison. Each of these measures had featured at the top of the ITF-ITUF demands during the Day of Action.

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