Gathering of teachers outside Iranian parliament crushed: Scores of protesters were arrested

 For immediate release:

Gathering of teachers outside Iranian parliament crushed:

Scores of protesters were arrested


July 22, 2015: This morning, groups of teachers, from across the country, gathered outside Iranian Parliament in Tehran to raise their collective voices against the arrest of teachers and trade unionists to the officials and their superiors.

The rally of teachers outside parliament was in response to a callout of the Central Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations. In response to this call more than two thousand teachers, from cities near and far to Tehran, despite school summer holidays, tried to hold a silent demonstration.

But, from the early morning, the presence of security forces was enormous. These forces violently prevented the formation of any gathering in any way possible and applied aggressive pressures to disperse the teachers. According to reports, about one hundred teachers were arrested and the arrestees were taken away by vans and mini-buses.

Other reports indicate that security forces had closed roads to the parliament and even shut down Metro in some stations in order to prevent the gathering of teachers.  Thus far, it is not exactly clear how many teachers have been charged and/ or detained.

Teachers organized this gathering in order to protest against continued harassment and prosecution of their representatives including Mr. Esmail Abdi who has been imprisoned since June 27th. Esmail Abdi, who is the general secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (Tehran), was invited to attend the Education International’s 7th World Congress in Ottawa, July 21st to July 26th, 2015. The repression of teachers’ protest and the arrest of more than 100 teachers today in Iran is taking place while about 2000 delegates from over 170 countries are currently gathered in Ottawa to address public education issues including the protection of the rights of education workers, teachers and their organizations around the world.

We are calling on all concerned organizations and individuals, especially the delegates at the Education International’s 7th Congress in Ottawa, to take necessary measures including  passing emergency resolutions in support of teachers in Iran and protest the arrest of teachers and demand the immediate release of imprisoned teachers, Esmail Abdi, and five other teacher unionists who have been suffering in the prisons of the repressive government of Iran: Ali Akbar Baghani, Rasoul Bodaghi, Mahmoud Bagheri, Alireza Hashemi and Alireza Ghanbari, and many others who have been arrested today. The international solidarity campaigns by teachers and labour organizations around the world have been extremely valuable and need to continue. The urgent actions by EI and its affiliates have already been well received by teachers in Iran. However, we are dealing with a government that does not recognize the right to organize, protest, and the freedom of association and expression; hence, over a million teachers and education workers in Iran continue to work under harsh conditions with wages way below the poverty line and without the right to collectively defend themselves and the public education.

International Alliance in support of workers in Iran (IASWI)

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