Urgent Action: In Support of Teachers in Iran

Urgent Action:

In Support of Teachers in Iran

      

The Iranian government’s authorities arrested Mr. Esmail Abdi, the general secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, on June 27, 2015.

 

Mr. Abdi was invited by the Education International (EI) to attend the EI’s 7th World Congress which will take place in Ottawa, Canada from July 21 to 26th, 2015. He was travelling to Armenia in order to obtain visa for Canada; however, his passport and other documents were confiscated at the border and he was told that he had to return to Tehran and report to the public prosecutor’s office at Evin about his situation including the fact that border agencies had received an order from Tehran according to which he was banned from leaving the country.

 

Mr. Abdi appeared before the prosecutor office in the Evin prison on Saturday, June 27th, accompanied by over 70 teachers. However, he was arrested and incarcerated while his colleagues were waiting for him outside the prison. Mr. Abdi already had a 10 year suspended sentence against him due to his activities with the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association. He was under mounting pressures by the agents of the Intelligence Ministry to resign from his position at the ITTA, which is an organization of teachers affiliated with the EI.

 

Iranian teachers organised three rounds of nationwide rallies in January, March and May 2015, to protest against their poverty wages (the estimate for the poverty line in Iran is roughly 3 million toman (US $1000.00) per month, but teachers average monthly income is around 1 million toman (about $330.00).

Iranian teachers are calling for free education for all and are strongly opposing the privatisation of schools and the education system, the casualization of teaching positions and discrimination in pay and benefits; teachers are demanding that all classes meet the internationally recognized standards. They are also calling for direct participation in preparing and editing the national curriculum and text books used in schools.

Iranian teachers are urgently demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all their incarcerated colleagues, including Messrs. Rasoul Bodaghi (jailed since September 2009), Mahmood Bagheri, Aliakbar Baghani (Board member and secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations who was also arrested recently) and Alireza Hashemi, general secretary of Iran’s Teachers’ Organization.  

 

The Iranian government does not recognize independent labour organizations and the only so called official “labour organizations” in Iran are directly created by the government, hence they have no credibility amongst workers. Like other workers, teachers and education workers in Iran have no right to strike, form their own independent organizations or protest. Teachers’ activism in Iran is a constant target of government’s security forces through harassment, intimidation, arrests and incarceration.

 

Iranian teachers need the broadest possible international solidarity from other education workers and labour organizations in the world.

Please send a protest letter to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, supporting teachers’ demands for fair wages and pensions, better working conditions, and against privatization and the neo-liberal policies of the Iranian government.

Please protest the unjust incarceration of Iranian teachers and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned teachers and incarcerated labour activists; condemn the arrest and incarceration of Mr. Esmail Abdi, demanding his immediate release and supporting his right to attend the Education International’s 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, 21-26, July 2015. 

 

International Alliance in support of workers in Iran (IASWI)

[email protected]/ https://www.workers-iran.org

Face book: https://www.facebook.com/IASWI 

https://twitter.com/IASWIinfo

July 3, 2015

 

PLEASE SEND protest letters to:  

·         Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian)
Email:
[email protected]

·         President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
Email:
[email protected]
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and
@Rouhani_ir (Persian)

 

·         IRI’s Minister of Education; Email: [email protected]

 

·         Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations 

Email: [email protected] 

 

Cc: [email protected]

 

Sample resolution in support of teachers in Iran – updated July 3, 2015:

  

Whereas:

 

·        Teachers in Iran have no right to form their own independent organizations, strike or protest; 

·        Teachers’ activism in Iran is a constant target of government’s security forces through harassment, intimidation, arrests and incarceration; 

·        Iranian teachers are demanding free education for all; 

·        Iranian teachers are opposed to the privatisation of schools, casualization of their teaching positions and are demanding that all classes meet the international regulations and standards; 

·        Iranian teachers are demanding direct participation in preparing and editing the national curriculum and texts used in schools; 

·        Iranian teachers organised three rounds of nationwide rallies in January, March and May 2015, to protest against their poverty wages (the estimate for the poverty line in Iran is roughly 3 million toman, $1000.00 per month, but teachers average monthly income is around 1 million Toman (about $330.00); Iranian teachers are demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all their incarcerated colleagues, Messrs. Rasoul Bodaghi (jailed since September 2009), Mahmood Bagheri, Aliakbar Baghani (Board member and secretary of the the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations who has been arrested recently) and Alireza Hashemi, general secretary of Iran’s Teachers’ Organization.  

·        Mr. Esmail Abdi, the secretary general of ITA, was summoned to Evin prison on Saturday 27, June 2015 and arrested and incarcerated upon his arrival. He was invited to attend the Educational International’s 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada.

·        Iranian teachers need the broadest possible international solidarity from other unions in the world.  

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

  

·………… supports teachers’ demands in Iran for fair and decent wages and pensions and for free, comprehensive and democratic education; 

·………..will send a message to the relevant Iranian government authorities protesting the unjust incarceration of Iranian teachers and demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned teachers and all incarcerated labour activists and political prisoners in Iran; 

….. condemns the arrest and incarceration of Mr Esmail Abi, demands his immediate release and support his right to attend the Education International’s 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, 21-26, July 2015.

                                                                                                                            

For more information: [email protected]/ https://www.workers-iran.org 

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