Iran General NewsUnion wants release of Iranian activist

Union wants release of Iranian activist

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AP: The International Transport Workers’ Federation has appealed for the release of an Iranian union leader who reportedly was kidnapped earlier this week in Tehran. Associated Press

By ROBERT BARR

Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) – The International Transport Workers’ Federation has appealed for the release of an Iranian union leader who reportedly was kidnapped earlier this week in Tehran.

Mansour Osanloo, leader of a bus workers union, “is still in custody somewhere by agents unknown,” federation spokesman Sam Dawson said Thursday.

The Associated Press was unable to contact any member of his family in Tehran for information on the case.

Osanloo, 47, president of the Sandikaye Kargarane Sherkate Vahed (Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company), was accosted by several men as he stepped off a bus Tuesday evening, the federation said, quoting information from its Iranian affiliate.

“Given the past history of Osanloo’s treatment by the security forces there is strong reason to believe that some part of the Iranian authorities was responsible for this attack, but the local police station, to which his family turned, refused to confirm or deny that the police were involved,” the federation said in a statement.

“We demand an immediate and unconditional release of Mansour Osanloo,” said David Cockroft, the federation’s general secretary.

“ITF affiliates and the global trade union leaders who met him at the recent ITUC General Council meeting in Brussels, and the International Labor Organization will all protest against this blatant violation of human and trade union rights and will take whatever action is necessary to secure the immediate release of Mansour Osanloo.”

The federation said Osanloo was released in August last year after seven months in detention. He was arrested again on Nov. 19 and released a month later, and was briefly detained on May 1 this year, the federation said.

Amnesty International said Osanloo was released in August after posting bail equivalent to $163,000 while awaiting trial on unknown charges.

On the Net:

International Transport Workers’ Federation, http://www.itfglobal.org

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