Thursday, July 12, 2007

Education International Calls For Osanlou's Release

Below is a copy of the letter sent on behalf of Education International in response to the abduction of Mansour Osanloo. I will be posting more on this, including what you can do to help, later this evening.

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President Islamic Republic of Iran
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Islamic Republic of Iran


Brussels, 11 July 2007

President Ahmadinejad,
I write to you on behalf of Education International (EI) to condemn the abduction of Mansour Osanloo, the President of the Sandikaye Kargarane Sherkate Vahed (Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company).

EI has been informed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that Mansour Osanloo was abducted by unidentified assailants as he was leaving a Vahed Company bus near his home at around 7pm on 10 July. Witnesses stated that he was beaten severely, as he was taken away in a metallic grey Peugeot to an undisclosed location.

During the week of 18 June 2007, I and other leaders of international trade unions from all regions of the world welcomed Mr. Osanloo at meetings in London and Brussels. We all pledged support to the Sherkat-e-Vahed trade union and Mr. Osanloo himself.

Following his abduction, EI is deeply concerned for the safety of Mr. Osanloo.

By virtue of its membership of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) the Islamic Republic of Iran is legally bound to respect its core principles including the principle of the freedom of association.

EI therefore joins the ITUC and ITF to urge your government to take every possible step to secure the immediate release of Mr Osanloo.

In addition to worries about the latest attack on Mr. Osanloo, EI is also concerned about the fate of the teacher representatives whose case is still reviewed by courts following the recent legitimate teacher protests. Teachers were protesting to uphold their right to a decent living wage. Teachers and their union representatives were merely requesting fair negotiations and social dialogue.

EI therefore urges you, Mr. President, to:

· Secure the immediate release Mr. Osanloo, ensure his safety and identify those responsible for his abduction;

· Secure the immediate and unconditional release of all teachers and their representatives detained in the context of the teacher protests;

· Open serious negotiations with the teachers’ representatives on their longstanding request for improved wages and respectable working conditions;

· Ensure that, in future, the right of teachers and workers’ organisations to exercise their activities and to hold meetings relating to the conditions of work and economic and social policy be respected.

EI would welcome a positive response on these requests, and will, in the meantime, continue to monitor the situation in Iran closely.

Sincerely yours,
Fred van Leeuwen
General Secretary