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Iran Transport Union Leader Says Colleague Detained Illegally

A board member of Tehran's municipal bus drivers' union says a fellow union leader was arrested this week without being presented a warrant from the court, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Saeed Torabian, a spokesman for Tehran's municipal bus service union, was detained by the Iranian authorities on June 9.

Union board member Akbar Pirdahi said Torabian's wife was told by officers during the arrest that "it doesn’t matter who the agents are and who has sent them to arrest Tarabian. She may assume that they have been sent by the court."

"The usual procedure of such arrests," Pirdahi told RFE/RL, "is that the agents ought to present their identities and the court warrant for the arrest of the person."

Pirdahi said that, according to the family, no such procedure was followed in this case.

Torabian is the third leader of the Tehran bus drivers' union, known as the Vahed Syndicate, now being held by Iran's judiciary. Mansur Osanlu, the union's president, and Ebrahim Madadi, a board member, are also currently in prison.

Pirdahi said he hoped that, despite the arrests, labor issues in Iran would not be neglected.

"We expect international labor laws to be implemented in Iran as well which would definitely solve [Iran's labor-related] problems and we believe we would then create a healthier society," Pirdahi said. "We hope that Mr. Osanlu, Mr. Madadi, Mr. Tarabian and all [our] other colleagues who are imprisoned will be released soon, as the answer to union activity and defending labor rights should [not] be imprisonment."