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CUPE was part of an Ottawa demonstration to free two Iranian trade unionists, jailed for exercising the right to organize.

More than 120 people gathered Aug. 7 in front of the Iranian Embassy to ask for the immediate and unconditional release of Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi. Mansour is president of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs bus company; Mahmoud is a co-founder of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organizations.

Iranian authorities do not recognize freedom of association or the right to organize. Mansour was severely beaten and kidnapped by plain-clothes agents on July 10 and taken to the infamous Evin prison. Mahmoud was jailed April 9, 2007. He suffers from severe kidney problems, but is denied treatment.

The Ottawa demonstration was one of dozens organized world-wide by the Iranian Workers’ Movement Abroad and its allies. Demonstrations were also held at Iranian embassies in several European countries, as well as in Australia, Jordan, Indonesia and Japan.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) are also part of this day of action.

CUPE 4772 member Farid Chaharlangi organized and spoke at the Ottawa demonstration.

He said the alarming conditions in Iranian jails called for an urgent response.

CUPE Equality Director Anne McGrath spoke at the rally on behalf of National President Paul Moist.

React: sign the IFT petition to free Mansour Osanloo