On Thursday May 10th, as part of a peaceful country-wide protest, teachers and retired teachers in Iran demanded more funds for education, higher wages and an end to privatisation. The protest in Tehran was violently broken up and many teachers and activists were arrested.
The protests took place in around 30 cities and towns across Iran, including Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan and Kermanshah. The Tehran protest was held outside the regime’s Planning and Budget Organisation, where the regime’s security forces, including plain-clothes officers, beat up some of the protesters and arrested them.
This country-wide action was called by the Co-ordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations to demand more state funds for education and higher wages for teachers and pensions for retired teachers. The protesters also demanded an end to the privatisation of education in Iran, as the privatisation of schools and tuition fees are undermining the legal right to a free education.
The next day, May 11th, the regime’s Minister of Education, Seyyed Mohammad Bathaei, tweeted that the protests had been held without any permission from the authorities and that they were “completely unfair and unwise under the current political situation of the country and the government.”
When five of the arrested teachers and activists appeared in court they were all handcuffed and shackled! Bail for each of the protesters was set at 50 million tomans ($11,897).
Currently eight of Thursday’s protesters remain in Evin prison. They are:
1- Mohammad Habibi (Member of the Executive Committee of the Teachers’ Trade Associations in Tehran).
2- Rasoul Bodaghi (Auditor of the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Associations).
3- Mohammad-Taghi Fallahi (Secretary of the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Associations).
4- Rahman Abdini (Member of the Executive Committee of the Alborz Province Teachers’ Trade Associations).
5- Esmail Gerami (husband of a retired teacher).
6- Hossein Gholami (Retirees’ Union activist).
7- Aliyeh Eghdamdoust (Retirees’ Union).
8- Javad Zavalnouri.
There are also four teachers who have already been incarcerated for a number of months:
– Mokhtar Assadi (teachers’ trade association activist in Kurdistan).
– Mohammad Beheshti-Langeroudi (Spokesperson of the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Associations).
– Esmail Abdi (Member of the Executive Committee of the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Associations and former General Secretary of the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Associations).
– Ruhollah Mardani (teacher in Alborz Province).
Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign
11 May 2018
Source: Teachers’ Trade Associations