International

Iranian bus workers’ leader kidnapped

Iranian bus workers’ leader Mansour Osanloo– who spoke in London last month at a meeting of the International Transport Workers’ Federation– has been kidnapped in Tehran, the ITF reports.

While on his way home, Osanloo was getting off a bus, when he was assaulted by the unidentified kidnappers, who yelled at the passengers to stay away and called him a ‘hoodlum and a thug’. They then forced him into the unmarked Peugeot which then drove away.

The witnesses on the bus stated that he was beaten severely, and his attackers continued to beat him even after they had stuffed him into the metallic grey Peugeot. Given the past history of Osanloo’s treatment by the security forces there is strong reason to believe that some part of the Iranian authorities was responsible for this attack but the local police station, to which his family turned, refused to confirm or deny that the police were involved.

It’s distressing that the UK’s Transport and General Workers’ Union has never once on its website mentioned the Iranian regime’s ongoing repression of Osanloo and his union. And while the T&GWU found time at its recent delegate conference to endorse a boycott of Israeli products, I can find no evidence that the union even considered an expression of solidarity with the bus workers in Iran. If anyone knows different, please correct me.

(Hat tip: LabourStart.)

Update: TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written to the Iranian ambassador asking for information about Osanloo’s abduction, and calling for his prompt release.

(Hat tip: Harry Barnes in the comments.)

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