Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Iran: Teacher unionist detained after National Teachers’ Day

From Education International.

Iran: Teacher unionist detained after National Teachers’ Day demonstration

Shortly after the May Day crackdown on Iranian workers’ rallies, teachers organised gatherings to celebrate National Teachers’ Day on 4 May. The teacher association TTA invited members to gather in front of the Education Ministry in Tehran and in front of the Education Department offices in the provinces.

The meeting in Tehran started at 1pm with more than 100 teachers present. Before the gathering, police officers in plain clothes and in uniform patrolled the area, attempting to compel teachers to leave. When teachers resisted, the police assaulted and beat them. The police tried to arrest teachers, but they resisted.

Eventually, the police managed to arrest Rasoul Bodaghi, a member of the TTA in Tehran. He was transferred to the Revolutionary Court on 5 May. Bodaghi had been detained in 2007 and sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term after his participation in teachers’ protests. At that time he was held for 16 days in solitary confinement and was released on bail. He also suffered a one grade demotion and a deduction of salary. This latest arrest within the two-year suspension means that he is automatically detained.

Teachers’ gatherings in some provinces were also violently dispersed but the full news has not yet reached EI.

During May Day rallies, independent trade unionists and labour rights activists faced heavy repression by security forces. About 130 women and men were arrested and are currently still incarcerated in section 204 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. EI has protested the arrests of independent trade unionists in Iran.

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