Tehran bus workers’ leader rearrested

Mansoor Osanloo, leader of the Tehran bus workers’ union– arrested by Iranian authorities last December during a union protest and released in August– has been rearrested, reports.

On Sunday morning, November 19th, Mansour Osanlou, director of the greater Tehran bus drivers’ union who was on his way to the labor bureau, was brutally attacked on the street, in front of witnesses. His assailants were plain clothes secret service agents of the Islamic regime, who after beating Osanlou, shoved him in the back of a car and sped away. On Saturday, November 18th Osanlou had received a summons that required him to appear, on Monday morning, November 20th at branch 4 of the interogatory section of the civil servants prosecutor’s office in order to respond to charges that had been been brought against him.

According to Ebrahim Madadi, vice-chairman of the bus drivers union, on Thursday, November 16th, Osanlou had had eye surgery; when he was seized, one of his eyes was bandaged. This method of arrest is reminiscent of the arrest of Iranian opposition leaders, activists, journalists and intellectuals throughout the ‘90’s who were eventually murdered in what came to be known in Iran as the Chain Murders. Osanlou’s life is in danger.

Osanlou had been released on bail in August, after enduring nearly 8 months in prison where his tongue was sliced, by the regime’s torturers during one of the interrogation sessions.

It is said that Osanlou and 16 of his fellow colleagues are being detained in branch 14 of the revolutionary prosecutor’s office, waiting to be prosecuted.

The website of the Worker-Communist party of Iran is also reporting the arrest.

The original arrest of Osanloo and the suppression of the bus workers provoked worldwide protests last winter, including a demonstration in front of the Iranian Interest Section in Washington.

Based on reports from the state-controlled Iranian Labor News Agency, workers in Iran are becoming increasingly angry and outspoken about their conditions. Perhaps not coincidentally, a reporter for the ILNA was arrested at a workers’ protest last week.

As you can see in the photo below, Hugo Chavez– icon of the international Left– minced no words in demanding an end to Tehran’s repression of Iran’s workers when he visited the country last July, leaving President Ahmadinejad visibly shaken.