Iranian unions under attack

Submitted by AWL on 27 September, 2007 - 2:33

GOVERNMENT repression of the emerging labour movement continues in Iran, with more arrests, charges and harassment. In August five members of the Tehran bus drivers' union were accused of acting against Iranian national security, after they visited the home of Mansour Ossanlou, himself jailed in July on similar charges. Although three had since been released, they still face a serious charge.

Ossanlou has apparently been sentenced to four years in prison for acting against national security, and to an additional year for disseminating propaganda against the country's Islamic system. Earlier this month Parvaneh Ossanloo, the wife of Mansour Ossanlou, and as his sister, were arrested after speaking with Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi about the case. They were bundled into cars by plainclothes police officers along with other women. Shortly after Ebadi protested vehemently and they were released.

What is needed is more international solidarity. After global protests on 9 August, Ossanlou was allowed to hold a meeting with his lawyers in Evin prison and call his wife, while another activist, Mahmoud Salehi, received medical treatment in a hospital outside Sanandaj prison

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