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    Posted November 3, 2010 by
    Tehran, Iran

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    Hamseda Radio Interview With The Wife of Imprisoned Iranian Labor Activist Mansour Osanlou


    (The following is a translation from an interview on Hamesda Radio-Ottawa. A link to the Farsi-language original can be found below.)


    Hamseda Radio - Ottawa

    Shabnam Assadollahi

    Oct 31, 2010


    Shabnam:  Mrs. Osanlou, Greetings from Hamseda Radio in Ottawa.  We are pleased to have made this connection with you.  Welcome.


    Parvaneh Osanlou:  Greetings to you and your listeners.


    Could you please share with us any updates on your husband’s circumstances?  Any developments on his prison case?  Have you had any recent visits with him?


    Mrs. Osanlou:  Yes, my husband has been in prison for four years now, in Gohar-Dasht prison in Karaj.  They have recently added an additional year to his prison sentence on the charges of acting against national security.  Although already acquitted of those charges,  he was nonetheless charged again with “propaganda against the state” for which he was imprisoned for one year ….. [telephone communication interrupted]…


    Mrs. Osanlou, your voice is breaking up and we can not hear you well; can you hear us?


    Mrs. Osanlou: … yes I can…


    I’m not sure where the problem is, since this is a cell phone connection!  You said that one year has been added to your husband’s prison term and that he was acquitted of the old charges of “action against national security.”


    Mrs. Osanlou:  Yes, but he was later charged with propaganda against the state in the preliminary court of the revolutionary courthouse in Karaj, and sentenced to one more year in prison.  His lawyers have submitted his case to the court of appeals which has not responded as of yet.  However, after 20 days, Mr. Osanloo was served, in prison, with a formal notice from the preliminary court again notifying him that he was sentenced to an additional one-year prison term on charges of propaganda against the state.


    Mrs. Osanlou, would you please explain for our listeners who may not know the details of your husband’s case, or those who may have just tuned in to our program the initial reasons for his arrest?  There are also non-Farsi speaking listeners for whom we will be translating our discussions into both English and Spanish.


    Mrs. Osanloo:  Yes, of course.  My husband used to work at Vaahed Co., Tehran’s main bus line.  He later formed a Labor Union for the bus drivers, in order to ensure his and the other drivers’ political rights, for which he was arrested in 2005.  He was detained for 9 months, then released for several months, then arrested again and kept incarcerated for one month and then released once again only to get arrested for the third time on July 10 2007. He has been in prison ever since.


    Mrs. Osanloo, we had heard in the news that your daughter-in-law was also attacked and subsequently suffered a miscarriage of the baby she was pregnant with at the time.  Is that true?


    Mrs. Osanloo:  Yes, it has only been a year since she has become our daughter-in-law and she is completely innocent.  She was receiving telephone threats at first, but on June 30, 2010, she was arrested and incarcerated for 4 hours, during which time she was brutally beaten.  She was 1.5 months pregnant at the time.  As a result of these beatings, she suffered sever pelvic pain, followed by the miscarriage of her baby.  And in recent months, the telephone threats have resumed again and they have even shown up at her door.  She really feels absolutely no sense of safety, whatsoever.


    Why do you think this has happened to her?  Is she involved in any political activities?  Why should she be targeted as she has, if your husband’s situation truly doesn’t concern his daughter-in-law?


    Mrs. Osanloo:  No, absolutely none.  She has absolutely no political involvements.  This is happening solely on the merits of her being our daughter-in-law.  She was warned at the time of her arrest, that if and when Mr. Osanloo is freed, she should take him and leave the country.  “You cannot stay here,” she was told.  In response, she said that she has not even met her father-in-law except for briefly on her engagement nigh-- that she hardly knows him and that they are practically strangers, that she was not even granted an opportunity to see him in prison.  How could she order the man to leave the country?  “Besides, Mr. Osanloo is in your hands, I can’t do anything about this,”  she had told her interrogators...  Therefore, all these pressures on her are strictly because of her father-in-law.


    Mrs. Osanloo, have you seen your husband lately?  What kind of condition is he in – physically and/or psychologically?


    Mrs. Osanloo:  Actually, my husband is quite well.  He is spirited and he has high hopes.  Of course, life in prison is extremely difficult  but during our visits, it is always he who tries to boost our moral … it is he who calms us down, and instills hope in all of us … [her voice cracks] … my husband is an exceptional person, really… I truly admire him for his tenacity.  He exercises while in prison, he studies and reads … he has been a positive influence on the other prisoners.  Once a week we visit him, men and women of the family alternating weeks, meaning that I see him every other week.  His mother and I visit him on a bi-weekly basis, and so do my sons and his brothers.


    What are the interior conditions of Rajaii-Shahr prison, and what kind of meals are the prisoners getting?


    Mrs. Osanloo:  Well, we deposit money in their accounts, so that their food can be purchased from the prison store, even though this does not happen on a regular basis.  You know the prison food is protein-deficient and basically not edible…which is the reason why the prisoners try to purchase their own, to the extent possible.  My husband has been kept in various wards so far.  And since 3 or 4 months ago, they transferred him to ward 3 where he is staying with other prisoners.


    My final question: What message do you have for Human Rights activists, for Amnesty International, for the United Nations?  There are many friends across the globe listening to us via the internet.  There are many human rights activists who are in touch with me, who have asked me to ask you: What are your expectations, and what is it that they can do to help you and the other prisoners and their families?    


    Mrs. Osanloo:  Yes, well, let me first thank all those people who defend the rights of individuals who are imprisoned in all corners of the world for human rights issues, particularly my husband.  I am sincerely grateful to them.  Our expectation is for the international community to continue their support which will undoubtedly help expedite the release of our husbands and their return to their families.  I can only thank all of you!


    Shabnam:  We thank YOU for your time.  We wish freedom for all prisoners of conscience, especially Mr. Osanloo.  We wish you and everyone in Iran peace.  We thank you and wish you a great week.  Please, next time you visit Mr. Osanloo, give him our message and our kindest regards.





    ~ from min 43:40

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