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Transport Workers Concerned For Jailed Iranian Labor Activist

Mansur Osanlu (left) has been in prison since 2007.
Mansur Osanlu (left) has been in prison since 2007.
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) says it is seriously concerned for the safety of jailed Iranian labor activist Mansur Osanlu.

The federation's general secretary, David Cockroft, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda he was concerned by reports that Osanlu had been moved recently to a prison ward together with drug addicts "and other people who could put his life at risk."

Cockroft sent a letter this on June 1 to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad detailing his concerns. In the letter, he called on Ahmadinejad to either stop what he called the persecution of Osanlu, or prove the reports wrong by allowing his family to visit and check his state of health.

"We are now organizing a major global protest around the world to make it absolutely clear that the eyes of the entire labor community are on the Iranian government, and that we want [Osanlu] to be treated properly and we want him to be released as quickly as possible," Cockroft said.

Osanlu, the leader of Tehran's municipal bus service union, is serving a five-year prison term for what authorities say was acting against "national security."