Once again, EI protested to the Iranian government over further arrests of teachers after strike actions have been announced for 15, 16 April.
More than 45 teachers were arrested in Hamedan on 7 April. Other teacher union leaders were also arrested, notably the Superintendent of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Iran, Aliakbar Baghani, who was taken away at his workplace at the Roshd Middle School in Tehran on 16 April.
The ILO Workers' Group and EI met the Iranian delegation to the ILO Governing Body in Geneva on 21 March, and the Labour Attaché of the delegation stated in correspondence that:
"Recognising the constitutional and civil rights of the teachers for peaceful assemblies and their freedom of speech, the Supreme Chief of the Judiciary decreed for the immediate release of all protesters arrested in front of the Parliament. According to the former, the legitimate and peaceful assemblies of the teachers are to be respected."
However, recent developments show a different attitude on the part of the Iranian authorities.
"Teachers are protesting to uphold their right to a decent living wage. Quality education for children requires teachers who are well trained, adequately remunerated and provided with good working conditions," wrote EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen. "By organising protests, teachers and their union representatives are merely requesting fair negotiations and social dialogue."
EI urges the Iranian government to secure the immediate and unconditional release of all teachers and their representatives detained in the context of the teacher protests and open serious negotiations with the teachers' representatives on their longstanding request for improved wages and respectable working conditions.
Please click on the links below for EI's letter dated 19 April 2007 in English and Farsi.