* Contents of English page, are not necessarily the same as Persian pages. *
Voice Of Freedom :Although Iran is renowned for its rampant and every increasing list of human rights violations, the violation of teachers' rights, is particularly dangerous as a result of the important role teachers play in shaping Iran's future.
The increased intensity and breadth of violence against teachers at the hands of the security apparatus and the judiciary coupled with the desire to cover up the economic challenges and hardships facing teachers unions, not to mention the illicit confrontations against teachers unions, and increasing pressure on social activists and teachers are highly concerning and require dire attention by educational institutions and human rights organizations.
As we approach World Teachers' Day (October 5th) and the beginning of the academic year in Iran, let us once again focus our attention on the human rights violations in Iran and in particular the blatant human rights violations against civil activists and teachers. Let us commemorate the memory of the honorable teacher Farzad Kamangar arrested in 2006 and executed in 2010. Let us focus on the extensive arrest of teachers since 2009 and bring attention to the hundreds of verdicts that have led to teachers losing their jobs, being held in detention in exile and deprived of participation in trade unions after the civil demonstrations that took place in 2006 and 2007; unfair verdicts that were issued by the Disciplinary Violation Board of the Ministry of Education at provinces throughout Iran and continue to be issued today. Let us be reminded of the continued illegal banning of teachers from participation in trade unions across our beloved land.
The challenges facing Iranian teachers are not limited to human rights violations. Today teachers also face exceedingly higher levels of economic hardship. Not only did teachers not receive the projected wage increases afforded to them under the law this past year, but new provisions were also passed leading to salary cuts for many teachers living in the provinces.
Furthermore, many teachers have been subjected to the pressures of verdicts leading to dismissals from their jobs, incarceration and even execution; this while articles 26 and 27 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran protect the right to membership in religious, civic and political institutions as a fundamental right of every Iranian citizen, a right that is also protected under international human rights conventions - conventions that the Iranian government has signed onto and promised to uphold.
Despite their supposed commitment to international human rights conventions, the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have in reality repeatedly demonstrated their lack of responsibility towards upholding such laws and have in fact in many cases acted against the laws of their own country. Simple requests by civil activists and teachers unions to gather or meet with members of the parliament have led to violent confrontations between activists, security officials and judicial authorities who view the legitimate demands of teachers as a threat to society, leading to the Revolutionary Courts filing cases against them.
As we embark upon yet another academic year in Iran it is incumbent upon us to continue to insist that the Islamic Republic of Iran upholds both international conventions and the domestic laws in Iran as it pertains to teachers and civil activists. We therefore call upon all civil activists across the globe to join us from September 29th to October 5th, 2012.
Let us be the voice for the suffering Iranian teachers and in particular those teachers behind bars. Let us inform the world of the violated rights of Iranian teachers and do everything in our power to uphold their demands.
A.Teachers Behind Bars
The following list is not complete, for many teachers are fearful to share information that may result in a backlash by the security apparatus in Iran.
To download this list in PDF format, click here.
B.Teachers Summoned by the Police,
Security and Judicial Apparatus
In addition to the aforementioned arrests and incarcerations of teachers, many have been summoned by the police, security and judicial apparatus and subjected to interrogations, threats and judicial convictions. The following are examples of such cases:
Siyavash Eslami, a member of the Sari Teacher's Union was arrested as a result of his participation in demonstrations following the presidential elections in 2009. Eslami was sentenced to one year prison and 76 lashes on charges of collusion against national security. His sentence was later reduced to 37 lashes by the appeals court and implemented on the 30th day of Shaban.
Mohamad-ali Hassan Shirazi, Mansoor Mirzayee, Mohamad Javad Hessami, Ahmad Changizi, Mohamad-ali Shahedi, Ramazan-ali Nejati, Mohamad-mahdi Sedighi, Mohamad-hossein Dehghanpoor and Ali Ghoochani, members of the Teachers Union of the city of Yazd were all sentenced to prison by the 1st Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court In Yazd, on a variety of charges including propaganda against the regime, illegal activities such as lectures, attending illicit meetings, gathering and issuing statements, provoking other teachers into launching a hunger strike and the closure of classes. They were sentenced to 7 years suspended imprisonment.
Bahedin Maleki, Ramin Zandnia, Ali Ghorishi, Mokhtar Assadi, Peiman Nodinian, heidar Zaman, Reza Hatami, Kamal Fakoorian, Mostafa Sarbazan, Mohamad- sedigh Sadeghi, Hiva Ahmadi, Ezatolah Nosrati, and Parviz Nassehi were all summoned, interrogated and threatened by the security officials in the province of Kurdistan on May 2nd, 2012. The aforementioned individuals were summoned to the 5th branch of the Inquiry Office for their final defense.
On May 23rd, 2010, Mohammad Mahdi Sedighi, a member of the teachers union in the city of Yazd, was summoned to the Security and Intelligence office of the IRGC, and subjected to interrogation until 11pm in the evening.
Mohamad Tavakoli, a member of the teachers union in the city of Kermanshah was summoned and threatened to detention on August 11th, 2012.
On June 13th 2012, Abass Nazari, a school teacher in the city of Ahar was also summoned to the Third Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in the City of Tabriz.
Campaign for the Support of Imprisoned Teachers