Prisoner of Conscience – Mansour Ossanlu, Iran

Mansour Ossanlu, leader of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Syndica Sherkat-e Vahed), has sought to obtain better working conditions and the end to discriminatory laws and practices that curtail worker’s rights.

Mr. Ossanlu was first detained from December 2005 through August 2006, followed by a shorter detention during November and December 2006. He was arrested again on July 10, 2007. After trial and conviction for “acts against national security” and “propaganda against the regime,” his five-year sentence was upheld on appeal and he is currently being held in Evin Prison.

There are serious concerns for Mr. Ossanlu's health. In addition to kidney and heart ailments and two clogged arteries, he is in danger of losing his eyesight due to injuries sustained when he was beaten during an earlier detention. He has undergone several surgeries but has been denied specialist health care inside the prison. The prison doctor has determined that Mr. Ossanlu is in immediate need of medical attention and has recommended that he be granted a medical release or, at the very least, be given appropriate care while in prison. Because of his life-threatening conditions, the government-appointed medical examiner has twice ordered an end to his imprisonment, which has been denied by judicial authorities.

Despite the fact that Iran is a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states in part: "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions," independent unions in Iran are banned, workers have few legal rights or protections, and union activists are regularly beaten, arrested, jailed and tortured.  The Covenant also states that “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity.”

Amnesty International considers Mansour Ossanlu a prisoner of conscience who is being detained on vaguely worded charges in order to halt his efforts to build strong trade unions capable of defending the human rights of workers. Group 11 is working to win his immediate and unconditional release.

Learn more:

Amnesty International Press release
Amnesty International Report on Iran
View a documentary about Mansour Ossanlu
View video awarding Mr. Ossanlu a Dutch Trade Union Rights Award

Take action on behalf of Mansour Ossanlu:

After reading about Mansour Ossanlu, send a letter on his behalf. Click here to download the letter as a Microsoft Word document. After printing it, sign your name with your address below your signature, date the letter, and mail it to the appropriate address. Postage to Iran is 98 cents.

You can send similarly worded letters to:

Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Gholam-Hossein Elham
Ministry of Justice
Central Office of the Ministry of Justice
Ark Square
Salutation: Your Excellency

Please also download and print a petition by clicking here. Ask your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to complete and sign it, then mail it to the address indicated at the bottom of the petition.  We will forward it to the appropriate Iranian authorities.