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Iran: Further information: Two trade unionists released, two still held

, Index number: MDE 13/053/2011

Mansour Ossanlu, head of an independent but unrecognized trade union in Iran, was released from Reja’i Shahr prison on medical leave on 2 June 2011. Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, another trade unionist, was released on bail equivalent to US$30,000 on 27 April 2011. Two other trade-unionists remain in custody.

Further information on UA: 130/10 Index: MDE 13/053/2011 Iran Date: 03 June 2011
URGENT ACTION
TWO TRADE UNIONISTS RELEASED, TWO STILL HELD
Mansour Ossanlu, head of an independent but unrecognized trade union in Iran, was released
from Reja’i Shahr prison on medical leave on 2 June 2011. Gholamreza Gholamhosseini, another
trade unionist, was released on bail equivalent to US$30,000 on 27 April 2011. Two other
trade-unionists remain in custody.
Reza Shahabi (also Reza Shahabi Zakaria), the Treasurer of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus
Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) remains detained in Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. On 25 May 2011, his trial
on charges of “propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding against state security” concluded
before a branch of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.. His lawyer has stated that the prosecution is seeking to bring
a fresh charge of “enmity against God” against Reza Shahabi for his alleged contact with the People’s Mojahedin
Organization of Iran (PMOI), a banned opposition group, Ebrahim Maddadi, (also Madadi), Deputy Head of the
Union, is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for “acts against national security”, which is due to end
around September 2011. Amnesty International believes both men are prisoners of conscience, held solely for their
peaceful trade union activities, and should be released immediately and unconditionally.
On 2 June, Parvaneh Ossanlu, Mansour Ossanlu’s wife, stated he had been granted a four-day medical leave for
medical treatment. Amnesty International is unaware of the exact conditions of his release, but some reports suggest
that he has been released on bail.
Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that 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, and to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which
guarantees the right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
Welcome the release of Mansour Ossanlu and Gholamreza Gholamhosseini but urge the Iranian authorities not to
imprison them in the future solely for their peaceful trade union activities;
Urge the authorities to release Reza Shahabi Zakaria and Ebrahim Maddadi immediately and unconditionally as
they are held solely for their peaceful trade union activities;
Urge the authorities to uphold their obligation to allow people in Iran to form and join independent trade unions.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 15 July 2011 TO:
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of
Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@dadiran.ir or
bia.judi@yahoo.com
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Provincial Judiciary in
Tehran
Ali Reza Avaei
Karimkhan Zand Avenue
Sanai Avenue, Corner of Alley 17, No.
152
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: avaei@Dadgostary-tehran.ir
Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei
And copies to:
Secretary General, High Council for
Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
High Council for Human Rights
c/o Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of
Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir (In
subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad
Larijani
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the third update of UA 130/10. Further information:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/013/2011/en
Date: 3 June 2011
URGENT ACTION
TWO TRADE UNIONISTS RELEASED, TWO STILL HELD
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Union (or Syndicate) of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) was banned after the 1979
Islamic Revolution. Workers resumed the union's activities in 2004, although it is not legally recognized. On 22 December 2005,
police arrested 12 of the union’s leaders at their homes, including Mansour Ossanlu, but quickly released four of them. Other
members were arrested on 25 December 2005 after they went on strike to call for the release of their colleagues. Hundreds more
were arrested during a further strike in January 2006 (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/002/2006/en and
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/008/2006/en).
Reza Shahabi was arrested in June 2010 three days after the arrest of Saeed Torabian, the union’s spokesperson. Held
incommunicado detention for some weeks, he later contacted his family and told them he was being held in Evin Prison, Tehran.
In September, after the authorities announced Reza Shahabi could be released on bail, his family paid the required 600 million
rials (US$50,000) only to have the authorities demand a further sum equivalent to US$100,000. He began a hunger strike on 4
December 2010 in protest at his continued detention. Seven days after starting his hunger strike, Reza Shahabi was hospitalized
as his health deteriorated. Due to his continued poor health, Reza Shahabi ended his hunger strike on 19 December 2010. Reza
Shahabi is believed to still be detained in Evin Prison’s Section 209, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence.
Mansour Ossanlu had been serving a five-year prison sentence in poor conditions in Reja’i Shahr Prison, in Karaj, near Tehran.
He was tried on fresh charges in August 2010 and received another year’s prison sentence, to be added to the five years he was
already serving. His health deteriorated while in prison, exacerbated by poor prison conditions. On 6 May 2011, Mansour
Ossanlu was transferred from Raja’i Shahr Prison, in Karaj, near Tehran to an undisclosed private hospital for treatment of
blocked arteries. He was subsequently returned to Raja’i Shahr Prison on 21 May 2011.
Saeed Torabian and Reza Shahabi were suspended from work, without pay, for approximately four years following the strikes in
2005. They were eventually reinstated after the Court of Administrative Justice investigated their case. This Court is empowered
to investigate complaints against government employees.
Other trade unionists have been arrested or harassed recently, including members of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company
(HTSCC) Trade Union, also not recognized by the government. The union’s Leader, Reza Rakhshan, began serving a six-month
prison sentence on 3 January 2011 imposed by an appeals court for spreading lies, after he had been acquitted of this charge
by a lower court, apparently in connection with an article he wrote in December 2009 entitled We are One Family, condemning
arrests and harassment of his fellow workers. On 18 November 2010, three members of the Haft Tapeh Trade Union were
sentenced to six months in prison by the Ahvaz Appeals Court. Behrouz Nikoufard, Alireza Saeedi and Behrouz Molazadeh were
reportedly convicted of insulting the Leader, although none is believed to have begun serving their sentence yet.
Rasoul Bodaghi, a member of Iran Teachers’ Trade Associations (ITTAs), which is affiliated to Education International (EI), held
since September 2009, is currently serving a six year sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison, in Karaj, near Tehran. He had been
sentenced in August 2010 to one year in prison for “propaganda against the system” and five years in prison for “gathering and
colluding with intent to disturb national security”, both vaguely worded charges. He was also banned from all civil society
activities for five years. Following the fifth day of a hunger strike by several political prisoners in protest of the treatment of
prisoners and conditions inside the prison, including denial of visitation and phone privileges, and other forms of pressure on
political prisoners that began on 22 May 2011, Rasoul Bodaghi was transferred to solitary confinement on 27 May 2011. There
are fears for his health.
In April 2011, three members of Hamadan’s teacher’s union in north-west Iran, Ali Najafi, Mohammad Khani and Saeed
Jahanara, were summoned to court, possibly to face charges of "propaganda against the system".
FU UA: 130/10 Index: MDE 13/053/2011 Issue Date: 03 June 2011

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