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Mansour Osanloo set free
2 June 2011
Mansour Osanloo, the Iranian bus union leader, was set free today after almost fours years of imprisonment in jail in Iran.
His release is reportedly conditional on his “good behaviour” and the payment of a bond.
Osanloo is the president and one of the founding members of the ITF-affiliated Vahed Syndicate, a free trade union representing Tehran's bus workers. In 2007, Osanloo was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state”. In 2010 another year was added to his sentence.
The ITF has led an international campaign demanding Osanloo’s release. ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented: “This is a great day for Mansour and his family – and for his fellow Vahed union members and those of us in the international trade union movement who are honoured to call him a friend. It’s doubly welcome given the deterioration in his health during his time behind bars.
He continued: “That bail has been set falls short of the full pardon we all wanted, and which the Iranian government promised, but for now we can just take a moment to savour his richly deserved return to his family.”
“But – and sadly even on a day as good as this one there has to be a but – there are other innocents in jail in Iran for the same ‘crime’ of wanting to join a trade union. They include Mansour’s colleagues, Reza Shahabi and Ebrahim Madadi. For all of them, and us, the fight is not over. As much as we welcome the Iranian government’s move and its finally listening to reason, we know we must renew our insistence that those other prisoners are set free and the threat of re-arrest lifted from Mansour, and then commit the ITF, our member unions and friends in the trade union and human rights movements to campaigning on their behalf.”
The Vahed Syndicate responded to the news by saying that they would like to thank everyone who had fought so hard for his release.
For more details, visit www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/freeosanloo.cfm
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