Saturday, March 01, 2008


Unions join forces in action day for imprisoned Iranian trade unionist

27 February 2008

Hundreds of thousands of trade unionists across the world will unite in a day of action next week to call for the release of Iranian bus workers’ union leader Mansour Osanloo.

Events on 6 March will take place worldwide, including London, UK, where trade unionists and human rights activists will participate in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy. The ITF campaign day, supported by the UK trade union movement as well as Amnesty International, will also see a red double decker bus visit London protest sites during the day.

Solidarity actions, including demonstrations, will also be held at Iranian embassies, in cities, railway stations and at border crossings in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey. Other countries are planning activities.

The “free Osanloo day” is receiving particular backing from railway workers and their unions who have voted to dedicate a planned rail action day – which traditionally promotes rail safety – to campaigning on Osanloo’s behalf.

David Cockroft, ITF General Secretary, commented: “The Iranian government’s continuing mistreatment of Mansour is a running sore. He has asked only for his basic rights and has been answered with fists, truncheons and manacles – but he has not been forgotten. On 6 March we will once again prove that he has friends and supporters around the world.”

Mansour Osanloo is President of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, which has been targeted by the Iranian authorities. He is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison on trumped up charges. The ITF and International Trade Union Confederation have spearheaded the campaign to defend him and he has been declared a prisoner of conscience by Anmesty International.

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