Monday, November 20, 2006

Mansour Osanlou was arrested In Tehran, again!

Mansour Osanlou, President of Tehran’s Bus Drivers Syndicate, was arrested Sunday morning in Tehran, near Resalat Square, by some plainclothes undercover intelligence agents. Apparently, Osanlou had just gotten out of a car to buy a newspaper when he was surrounded by the undercover agents and after a brief scuffle during which he and Ebrahim Madadi, the VP of the Syndicate, were both beaten several times, Osanlou was rushed into a car and disappeared. Although there has been no official report of his arrest, Osanlou's wife has been notified by the authorities that he has been taken to Evin prison, where high profile political prisoners are held.

Osanlou was just released three months ago on bail following his arrest and subsequent imprisonment back in January 2006. His case is still pending, as the governemnt has stated that it will not tolerate any union or syndicate that has a political agenda against the Islamic Republic. Osanlou's supporters state that his only crime was educating the bus drivers regarding their rights under the Islamic Republic's Constitution.

From my own experience, the Iranian authorities are notorious for arresting dissident leaders a few weeks before anniversaries of the events that led to their arrests. So I'm not surprised. My guess is his VP will be arrested soon as well and they will both be released in Februray 2007.

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