IRN 005 / 0707 / OBS 077 - Abduction

06/08/2007
Urgent Appeal
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The Observatory has been informed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) about the abduction of Mr. Mansour Osanloo, President of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sandikaye Kargarane Sherkat-e Vahed).

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in Iran:

New information:

According to the information received, on July 10, 2007, Mr. Mansour Osanloo was abducted by unidentified assailants as he was leaving a Vahed Company bus near his home at around 7 pm. According to witnesses, Mr. Osanloo’s assailants beat him severely, and continued to beat him as they took him away in a metallic grey Peugeot to an undisclosed location. Mr. Osanloo had apparently been followed all day by the unmarked Peugeot car. Such vehicles are well known as being associated with the Iranian Security Forces.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern for the safety of Mr. Osanloo and fears that his abduction might be directly linked to his trade union activities. As a matter of fact, Mr. Osanloo and leaders of Sherkate Vahed are regularly subjected to acts of reprisals (See Observatory Annual Report 2006 and background information). In addition, only a week ago, Mr. Ebrahim Madadi, Vice President of the union, was detained for a short period by the police before being released following global trade union protests.

Background information:

On August 9, 2006, Mr. Mansoor Osanloo, who was detained in the Evin prison (Tehran) since December 22, 2005, was released after being detained incommunicado for more than seven months in the Evin prison. His release was reportedly conditional on a 150 million toman bail (125,000 euros), which was paid by his colleagues, friends and family.

On November 8, 2006, Mr. Osanloo was once again detained for several hours by the Tabriz police, along with nine representatives of Sherkat-e Vahed. At the time, they were on their way to Tabriz for a workshop organised by the International Labour Organisation.

On November 19, 2006, Mr. Osanloo and Mr. Ebrahim Madadi were arrested on the street by policemen in plain clothes. The policemen refused to show their police card or an arrest warrant. Both men were on their way to the Ministry of Labour in Tehran and were allegedly physically and verbally assaulted by the policemen. One of them reportedly pointed a gun towards Mr. Madadi, before firing in the air. The officers finally forced Mr. Osanloo to get into their car and left. Mr. Osanloo was placed in detention in section 209 of the Evin prison, which is reserved for prisoners accused of political offences. He was unable to get access to his lawyer before December 5, 2006.

On November 26, 2006, Mr. Osanloo appeared before the 14th Chamber of the Revolutionary Court along with 17 other trade unionists to answer the pending charges against him, the exact nature of which was not known. A few days later, the Minister of Justice and the spokesperson for the Ministry reportedly declared that Mr. Osanloo had been arrested again for not reporting to the penitentiary authorities after the issue of an arrest warrant and summons. However, his lawyer certified that Mr. Osanloo never received a warrant or summons requiring him to return to prison, but only a summons requiring his presence at a hearing before the fourth chamber of the Special Civil Servants Court on November 20, 2006.

On December 5, 2006, the judge set an additional bail of 30 million toman for his release (his bail then amounting to about 150,000 euros), stating that only his wife was authorised to pay it. On December 19, 2006, Mr. Osanloo was finally released after only paying 150 million toman in bail, which was related to his detention from December 22, 2005 and August 9, 2006.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Iran urging them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mansour Osanloo;

ii.Take prompt action in order to locate Mr. Osanloo, make public his whereabouts, and ensure his immediate release;

iii.Conduct an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into Mr. Mansour Osanloo’s abduction in order to identify those responsible, bring them to justice and sentence them according to law;

iv.Put an end to all acts of harassment against all Iranian human rights defenders;

v.Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

vi.More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Iran.

Addresses:

- Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: info@leader.ir / istiftaa@wilayah.org / webmaster@wilayah.org;
- President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir;
- Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98.21.879.6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: Irjpr@iranjudiciary.com;
- Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Manuchehr Motaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.390.1999, Email: matbuat@mfa.gov;
- Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email: mission.iran@ties.itu.int;
- Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email: iran-embassy@yahoo.com.

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Iran in your respective country.

***
Paris - Geneva, July 11, 2007

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line: E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80 Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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