The International Centre for Human Rights: Mansour Osanloo, the chairman of the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) was released from prison on bail and on the orders of Iran’s Judiciary today after four years behind bars. He was released due to international pressures, according to the Student Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners.

The labour rights activist was among the people currently on hunger strike in Rajai Shahr prison. Osanloo’s release corresponds with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) meeting that began on Monday and will continue for two weeks. The ILO has always made efforts for Osanloo’s release.

Mansour Osanloo was arrested on July 10, 2007 and sentenced to five years in prison. He was sentenced to an additional year in prison in August 2010 under the charge, “Propaganda against the regime”.  He has been arrested numerous times in the past decade, each time enduring much physical and psychological torture including spending long periods of time in solitary confinement.

In this case ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented: “This is a great day for Mansour and his family – and for his fellow Vahed union members and those of us in the international trade union movement who are honoured to call him a friend. It’s doubly welcome given the deterioration in his health during his time behind bars.

“That bail has been set falls short of the full pardon we all wanted, and which the Iranian government promised, but for now we can just take a moment to savour his richly deserved return to his family.”

He continued: “As much as we welcome the Iranian government’s move and its finally listening to reason, we know we must renew our insistence that those other prisoners are set free and the threat of re-arrest lifted from Mansour, and then commit the ITF, our member unions and friends in the trade union and human rights movements to campaigning on their behalf.”