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Campaigns > Free Mansour Osanloo > Watch the Film

Film: Freedom Will Come - The Story of Mansour Osanloo

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Freedom Will Come - The Story of Mansour Osanloo


1. This man is a bus driver, a husband, and a father.

2. In 2005, he helped to create “Sherkat-e Vahed” an independent trade union, representing 17,000 bus workers in Iran’s capital city, Tehran.

3. His name is Mansour Osanloo.

4. Osanloo and his fellow workers led protests that increased bus workers’ pay by fifty dollars a month. THEY persuaded employers to provide work clothes, and got casual workers signed to two-year contracts.  They argued for forty-dollar childcare allowances to be paid to women workers.

5. These were not anti-government actions.

6. Nevertheless, today, Mansour Osanloo is detained in the notorious Evin prison, in a North Tehran suburb. Here, Iran’s political prisoners are kept –
and tortured. Some have paid the ultimate price.

7. Over the last two years, Osanloo has spent more time in than out of this prison.

8. He has been beaten, and during one attack his tongue was cut – as a warning.

9. Osanloo was most recently detained on July 10th. He was abducted from one of the Vahed company buses. His wife tells the tale.


10. Witnesses said Osanloo was badly beaten by the thugs. It was two days before his family knew for certain that he was alive - and in prison.

11. This most recent detention came three weeks after Osanloo was allowed to travel outside Iran.

12. In June, he joined fellow transport workers at the ITF in London, and told them that international support for the union’s struggle was crucial.

13. He travelled to Brussels to meet the International Trade Union Confederation and other world trade union leaders.

14. Throughout the trip, Osanloo spelled out his mission – that of raising the salaries and improving the lives of his fellow workers.

15. Following THIS visit, and in response to a complaint brought by the ITF and the ITUC, the International Labour Organisation - a UN agency - urged the Iranian Government to drop charges against Osanloo and to grant full trade union rights.

16. Iran’s people are beset by poverty. Huge numbers of workers - including bus workers - are paid less than they need to survive.

17. Yet this is a country that has the second biggest reserves of oil after Saudi Arabia.

18. It makes and exports cars.

19. Iran’s port of Bandar Abbas imports huge quantities of manufactured goods from Korea and Thailand.

20. Major trading partners include Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK.


21. So while Osanloo’s fate waits in the balance, internationally, the eyes of the labour movement are on Iran.

22. On August ninth workers in thirty-eight countries took to the streets to highlight their support for Iran’s independent trade unions and to demand the freedom of Mansour Osanloo as well as fellow trade union prisoner Mahmood Salehi.

23. This coordinated trade union action was also supported by Amnesty International

24. In London, the ITF general secretary presented the Iranian embassy with a petition demanding they release the trade unionists. Simultaneously in Tehran, five more bus union leaders were detained as they went to attend a rally at Osanloo’s house.

25. Trade unions and human rights organisations worldwide strongly condemned these arrests.


26. This global action sent a strong message to Iran’s politicians and galvanised solidarity amongst transport workers.

27. The five million members of the ITF family are spreading the word, in their workplaces and in the streets. Support for the campaign to free Osanloo grows each day.


28. It is vital to keep up the international pressure. The ITUC, the ITF and their members are determined that for Mansour Osanloo and Iran’s trade unions, freedom will come.


29. Demonstrate your solidarity - fight for Osanloo - and for freedom for all of Iran’s workers.

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Copyright © 2012 ITF
ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk
Copyright © 2012 ITF
ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk