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Imprisoned Bakers' Union Leader in Iran Denied Vital Medical Treatment/Bus Union Leader Kidnapped

Posted to the IUF website 11-Jul-2007

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Mahmoud Salehi, leader of an independent bakers union in Iran's Kurdistan province, was arrested in the city of Saquez along with 6 other union activists for attempting to celebrate May Day 2004 with a public rally. The IUF, together with other union organizations, campaigned for the release of the seven, who were released following a lengthy hunger strike. Three of the men were eventually acquitted, while 4, including Salehi, have continued to face trials and rearrests.

Condemned again this year following an unsuccessful appeal to one year's immediate imprisonment, Salehi has been in prison since April 9 of this year. He is being denied the dialysis treatment he needs for his one remaining kidney, and his condition is deemed to be life threatening.

The IUF urges all supporters of democracy and trade union rights to write to the Iranian authorities, urging that Mr. Salehi be immediately released and given access to the medical treatment he urgently needs.

More information on Salehi and the repression of independent union activity in Iran, and model protest letters to the Iranian authorities, can be found on the web site of the ITUC and on LabourStart.

On July 10, the President of the Tehran bus workers' union, Mansour Osanloo, was kidnapped as he was getting off a Tehran bus. Witnesses to the abduction described him being attacked by unidentified assailants who stuffed him into a car, and continued to beat him as they drove away. Mansour has already been imprisoned in connection with a planned strike in early 2006 which was brutally repressed. The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and unions internationally are calling on the Iranian authorities for his immediate release. More information and links to send a protest message are available on the ITF website.