As the sentencing of teachers intensifies and their widespread suppression by the Islamic Republic continues, along with the imprisonment of teachers, the Coordination Council of Educational Trade Unions in Iran has launched a campaign to collect one hundred thousand signatures from educators, demanding the freedom of imprisoned teachers.
The Coordination Council of Educational Trade Unions in Iran had previously sent a letter signed by 1,200 teachers to Mohseni Ejei, the head of the judiciary, requesting the release of imprisoned teachers. However, this request was not accepted by the judiciary or the presidency.
The signatories of this campaign called for an end to the fabrication of cases in courts, disciplinary boards, and the dropping of security charges against educational activists. They emphasized the importance of future trials being held openly and with the presence of a fair jury, in accordance with Article 168 of the Constitution.
According to the statement by this trade union organization, the government’s approach in dealing with over two decades of peaceful demands and rights-seeking by teachers, within the framework of Articles 26 and 27 of the Constitution, has been oppressive and suppressive, with some teachers constantly facing fabricated cases, punishments, and sometimes severe sentences, including expulsion and imprisonment.
It is worth mentioning that following the pressure exerted by the security and judicial apparatus of the Islamic Republic on teachers, the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz sentenced eight educational activists from Fars Province to a total of 34 years in prison on June 17th of this year. These educators are: Zahra Esfandiari, Mojgan Bagheri, Asghar Amirzadegan, Abdolrazagh Amiri, Iraj Rahnama, Gholamreza Gholami, Mohammad Ali Zahmatkesh, and Afshin Razmjou. Additionally, six months of imprisonment were imposed on Pirouz Nami, who is from Khuzestan.
After the issuance of these sentences, the Coordination Council of Educational Trade Unions in Iran strongly condemned the baseless accusations against teachers and union activists and the issuance of such verdicts. The statement considered these sentences to be “evidence of the historical and cultural stagnation and incompetence” of closed-minded individuals who have lost the ability to properly understand social issues. It added, “They do not see the damages and deep divisions created in society and have only chosen the path of suppression and intimidation to continue their rule.”