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March 6th Will Be Day For Osanloo Mansour

March 6th will be day for Osanloo

Events will be held in London, Brussels and worldwide on 6 March 2008 as hundreds of thousands of trade unionists dedicate the day to demanding the release of imprisoned Iranian union leader Mansour Osanloo.

A demonstration will be held outside the Iranian Embassy at 16 Prince's Gate, London SW7 1PTF from 12:30 to 13:30, while across the United Kingdom thousands of transport workers will be leafleting passengers in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle and other locations. In recognition that Osanloo is an ex-bus driver and heads a bus drivers' union, a red double decker routemaster bus will be visiting London protest sites throughout the day. It will be at the embassy demonstration and will host a photo opportunity outside Portcullis House, Bridge Street, London SW1A (this event not yet confirmed, but planned to take place from 10:30 to 11:00), where union leaders and MPs (TBC) can be photographed next to it with the Houses of Parliament in the background. The campaign is being supported by the TUC, the unions Aslef, GMB, RMT, TSSA, Unison and Unite, as well as Amnesty International, which has declared Osanloo a prisoner of conscience.

Solidarity actions, including demonstrations, will be held at Iranian embassies, in cities, railway stations and at border crossings in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Spain, South Africa and Thailand. Other countries are planning activities.

The ITF can provide photos of Mansour Osanloo and will be distributing pictures of the March 6th event. A JPEG of an English language leaflet prepared especially for the day can also be sent to you on request to Dawson_sam@itf.org.uk .

The free Osanloo day is receiving particular backing from railway workers and their unions who have voted to dedicate a planned rail action day - which traditionally gives them the chance to promote rail as a safe and environmentally positive way of traveling - to also campaigning on Osanloo's behalf.

David Cockroft, ITF General Secretary, commented: "The Iranian government's continuing mistreatment of Mansour is a running sore. He has asked only for his basic rights and has been answered with fists, truncheons and manacles - but he has not been forgotten. On March 6th we will once again prove that he has friends and supporters around the world."

Mac Urata, Secretary of the ITF's Inland Transport Section, which coordinates the railway action days, said: "With Mansour in jail and in danger of losing the sight in one eye following a previous attack on him, we are using all resources to demand his release, including the opportunity to bring together the world's railway workers to support him."

Mansour Osanloo, 47, is the President of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) trade union, which has been repeatedly targeted by the Iranian authorities. He has been beaten and brutalised and is now being held in Tehran's Evin prison on trumped up charges of endangering security. The ITF and ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) have spearheaded the campaign to defend him. See www.freeosanloo.org for further information about Osanloo and his union's struggle. A short film about him can be seen at www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/osanloo-film.cfm

ATTACHED: Iran Campaign Leaflet [PDF]

ENDS

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