Thursday, September 10, 2009

The following appeal for the jailed Iranian trade unionist Mansour Ossanlu is from the UK branch of Amnesty International. It came to Molly's attention via the online labour solidarity site Labour Start. Molly has blogged about the case of Mr. Ossanlu previously.
Iran: Jailed trade unionist needs urgent medical treatment:
Prisoner of conscience Mansour Ossanlu's health is deteriorating. A year ago he was transferred to Reja’i Shahr prison, west of Tehran, where he was placed among prisoners who have been convicted of crimes such as murder, rather than among political prisoners.

He has been denied permission to leave the prison for treatment for pre-existing medical problems, and new ones gained through the denial of access to treatment. He was denied treatment by the case judge, despite a referral by the prison doctor following his fourth medical examination.

Despite the recommendation by the Coroner, and Medical Examiner, at the end of last year that Mansour be treated outside the prison, the authorities continue to refuse to allow him to leave for treatment.

Mansour Ossanlu is leader of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), was arrested on 10 July 2007.
Background information
Mansour Ossanlu was previously detained for eight months, from December 2005 to August 2006, and again for a month from November to December 2006 in connection with his trade union activities. He had reportedly been sentenced to five years' imprisonment in May 2007, but was believed to be free on bail at the time of his arrest.In October 2007, upon learning that Ossanlu was at risk of losing his eyesight unless he was given urgent medical treatment that was being denied him by the prison authorities, Amnesty International and the Global Unions mounted an urgent appeal which resulted in his transfer to hospital. Though his eyesight has been saved, he continues to be denied urgently needed medical treatment.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following protest letter to the Iranian authorities.
I understand that the Coroner, or Medical Examiner attached to Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj has directed, both this year and last, that prison officials grant Mansour Ossanlu medical leave in order to receive appropriate treatment. I understand that prison officials, have disregarded this directive and denied him leave. I respectfully remind you that every prisoner has the right to adequate medical attention and that you are responsible for prisoners’ wellbeing.

I am very concerned that Ossanlu appears to be held solely on account of his peaceful trade union activities, in which case he should be released immediately and unconditionally. I remind you of the obligations of Iran under ICCPR Article 22 (1) and ILO conventions 87 and 98, which provide for the right to form and join trade unions.

As a priority, I urge the authorities to ensure that he is given immediate and regular access to his lawyers, and his family as well as adequate and appropriate medical care.

I also urge you to ensure that all jailed Iranian trade unionists, and those facing prosecution and imprisonment arising from legitimate trade union activities, are released, including Ossanlu’s colleague, Ebrahim Madadi, and teacher Farzad Kamangar.

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