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New Appeals For Sick Iranian Labor Activist In Jail

Mansour Osanlu in an undated photograph
Family and supporters of jailed Iranian union leader Mansour Osanlu have renewed appeals for authorities to let him out for medical treatment, saying his health condition has worsened, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Osanlu, the leader of Tehran's municipal bus service union, is serving a five-year prison term for acting against "national security" in a case widely condemned by rights groups and international labor organizations.

The International Transport Workers' Federation said today it had received news that Osanlu's heart condition has worsened and that he urgently needs surgery.

"I think the government is still afraid that someone like Osanlu can have a major impact to promote the independent workers' movement in Iran and that is why they are putting him in jail without any justification," said Mac Urata, the secretary of the ITF's Inland Transport Section. "We know very well from the reports we have from Iran that his health condition is deteriorating, especially his heart problem is getting worse and worse. The government must immediately release Osanlu so that he can have better treatment, surgery, for the health conditions that are troubling him."

Osanlu's mother, Fatemeh Golqezi, told Radio Farda today that Osanlu has three blocked arteries.

"Should he not go under surgery soon, his condition will worsen and I could only hold the authorities responsible for this," she said.

"We have sent several applications and met several doctors recently, but we haven't gotten any response from the authorities allowing him to leave prison as per his heart condition," she said.

Golqezi said Osanlu only has four months of his sentence to serve.