As the issuance of verdicts against teachers intensifies and their widespread suppression by the Islamic Republic continues, along with more than forty days having passed since the start of the “One Hundred Thousand Signatures for the Freedom of Imprisoned Teachers” campaign, over twenty-eight thousand people have expressed their support.
According to the Institute for Democracy and Non-Violence, citing the “Coordination Council of Iranian Educational Associations,” the number of signatories for this online campaign has exceeded 28,000.
The Coordination Council of Iranian Educational Associations had previously initiated a campaign to collect one hundred thousand signatures from educators, demanding the release of imprisoned teachers.
In an open letter addressed to Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic, the association stated that teachers attempted to submit a letter with signatures from 1,200 educators across the country weeks ago, but no part of this institution was willing to accept and register the letter. In this letter, teachers declared “the freedom of imprisoned teachers and an end to the persecution of trade union activists” as their main demand.
Following the rejection of this letter, the online signature campaign began. Although the initial signatures were primarily from teachers and started during the school holiday season, the number of supporters rapidly increased to over 28,000. The Coordination Council’s open letter to Ejei, published on August 5th, indicates that this number of signatures was achieved despite school closures, decreased teacher communication, and challenges related to online censorship.
Various teacher associations and unions from Tehran and provinces across the country have shown support for this campaign.
According to the Coordination Council, at least eleven trade union activists fighting for teachers’ rights are currently imprisoned. Some are in temporary detention, while others are serving prison sentences. Among these detained individuals are Farzaneh Nazarpour, Ismail Abdi, Rasoul Badaqi, Jafar Ebrahim, Hashem Khastar, Omid Shahmohammadi, Aziz Qasemzadeh, Mahmoud Sadiqipour, Anoush Adeli, Hussein Ramadanpour, and Mehdi Fathi.