Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jailed Iranian Labour Leader Hospitalised

"• A dissident Iranian labour leader who is serving a five-year jail sentence has been hospitalised with a heart problem, a source close to him said yesterday.

Mansoor Osanloo, leader of a union grouping bus drivers, was detained in July last year for "distributing statements against the system" and a judiciary official was in October quoted as saying he had been sentenced to jail.

"Yes, he has been hospitalised," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He has a heart problem."

It was the second time Osanloo was hospitalised while in Tehran's Evin prison, after earlier suffering eye problems, the source said, giving no further details.

Iran's judiciary says Osanloo's union is an illegal organisation. Osanloo has been in jail before.

Rights groups and Western governments say Iran last year launched a fresh crackdown on dissent in the Islamic Republic, with the authorities targeting women's rights activists, students, journalists and labour figures.

It coincides with an escalating standoff between Iran and Western powers over Tehran's nuclear programme which it says is aimed at generating electricity but which the United States suspects is for building bombs."

No comments: