Sunday, July 15, 2007


Amnesty International: Public Statement

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/086/2007 13 July 2007Further Information on UA 08/06 (MDE 13/002/2006, 9 January 2006) and follow-ups (MDE 13/094/2006, 17 August 2006; MDE 13/129/2006, 29 November 2006 and MDE 13/011/2007, 31 January 2007) - Arbitrary arrest/Possible prisoner of conscience/Medical concernIRAN Mansour Ossanlu (m), Head of Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus CompanyTrade unionist Mansour Ossanlu, who had been released in December, was detained on 10 July. He was reportedly pushed into a car at around 7pm by men in plain clothes who beat him. On 12 July it was reported that he was being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. He had spent eight months in detention between December 2005 and August 2006, and a further month between November and December 2006 in connection with his activities as head of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), and was facing trial. He had recently travelled to Europe to build international support for an independent trades union movement in Iran.Amnesty International believes he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of his peaceful trades union activities, who should be released immediately and unconditionally.
BACKGROUND INFORMATIONThe Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company is said to have been founded in 1979 and resumed activities in 2004 after a 25-year ban. It is still not legally recognised. Iran is a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Article 22 (1) states: "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests." Article 26 of Iran’s Constitution states: "The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations … is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them."
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:- asking why Mansour Ossanlu was rearrested on 10 July, and asking for details of any charges he is facing;- expressing concern that he appears to be held solely on account of his peaceful trade union activities, and calling on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally;- in the meantime, calling on the authorities to ensure that he is given immediate and regular access to his lawyers, and his family;- expressing concern at reports that Mansour Ossanlu was beaten during his arrest and urging that these reports be fully investigated, with anyone found responsible for abuses brought to justice and given a fair trial;- calling for him to be given immediate access to any medical treatment he may require;- reminding the authorities of their obligations under the ICCPR, Article 22 (1) of which provides for the right to form and join trade unions.
APPEALS TO:Minister of IntelligenceGholam Hossein Mohseni EjeieMinistry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of IranEmail: iranprobe@iranprobe.comSalutation: Your ExcellencyHead of the JudiciaryAyatollah Mahmoud Hashemi ShahroudiMinistry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of IranFax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)Email: (In the subject line: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO:PresidentHis Excellency Mahmoud AhmadinejadThe Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of IranFax: + 981 6 674 790 (Via Foreign Ministry. Mark "Please forward to H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad")Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.irvia website: Salutation: Your ExcellencyHead of the Parliamentary Article 90 CommissionMohammad Reza FakerMajles-e Shoura-ye EslamiBaharestan Square, Tehran, IranFax: + 98 21 3355 6408and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 24 August 2007.********

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