Mansour Osanloo, the leader of the Vahed Bus Company drivers, has been
admitted to a coronary care unit (CCU) for treatment.
When Mansour Osanloo was recently allowed out of jail for an eye operation
he was handcuffed and had his legs in chains. He was also accompanied by three
armed agents. The agents wanted to handcuff him to the operating table during
When Osanloo and his family protested against this the agents said that the
security police had ordered them to cuff Osanloo while he was in the operating
theatre. Osanloo replied that he was not going to lie down on an operating
table while handcuffed to it. He was not prepared to go through with the
operation in this way and would return to jail. After a while the agents
contacted their superiors and were forced to back down.
Then on Monday 9 June, because of Osanloo’s heart problem, his condition
took a turn for the worse and he was admitted to the CCU of Labafinejad
Hospital. He is still there and his condition is described as critical. Despite
this, four armed agents are in the CCU keeping a 24-hour watch over him. This
has caused added stress and pressure on Osanloo and his family, as well as
other patients and hospital staff.
Earlier that week an official medical examiner had issued a certificate
which specified that because of Osanloo’s physical condition, and the planned
operations on his left eye, Osanloo was not able to tolerate any punishment and
that he should have ‘sick leave’ for six weeks. Osanloo’s family showed this
certificate to Hassan Zareh-Dehnavi, the judge who is charge of all political
prisoners’ cases in Tehran
province, and asked that he acts on its recommendation. But Hassan
Zareh-Dehnavi relied: "We will not give him sick leave. When he’s in jail
we have peace of mind and the workers don’t gather around him." This judge
later ordered the official medical examiner to not issue any kind of medical
certificate, since this is a matter for specialists and should be issued on the
basis of a medical consultant’s opinion.
On Tuesday and Wednesday [10-11 June] Osanloo’s elderly mother went to the
office of judge Zareh-Dehnavi to ask for ‘sick leave’ for her son. On both
occasions he was not prepared to see her.
Once Osanloo had returned from London,
where he had had meetings with various labour organisations and trade unions,
he was arrested and imprisoned in wing no. 209 of Evin jail. His interrogators
have been hitting him on the head and other sensitive parts and have damaged
the cornea of his eye. They kept asking him why he had returned from London. Because of this
type of treatment he was in the prison infirmary for some time before being
admitted to hospital. On top of eye and heart problems Mansour Osanloo also has
a skin condition.
The beatings and hardship that Mansour Osanloo has experienced while in
prison are standard practice for political prisoners and labour activists
(Mahmoud Salehi was also handcuffed to the operating table when in hospital).
Osanloo has always maintained that he and the Vahed Bus Company Trade Union do
not have any political demands. They just want better pay and working
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network condemns the way labour activists and
leaders are treated in such harsh ways. We call on trade unionists and labour
activists everywhere to send emails
protesting against Osanloo’s harsh treatment as a punishment for attempting to
re-launch the Vahed trade union and demanding decent pay and conditions for his
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
24 June 2008
London WC1N 3XX,
[Source: A statement by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, 14 June
For further news on Mansour Osanloo and the Vahed Bus Company drivers’
struggles, and how you can help, see the special section.