Education International
Education International

Iran: Intimidation of teachers continues

published 20 December 2007 updated 20 December 2007

On 14 December, nine teachers were sentenced to 91 days imprisonment by a criminal court of the province of Hamadan in Iran.

The nine teachers -Ali Sadeghi, Yousef Zareie, Majid Fourouzanfar, Jalal Naderi, Yousef Refahiyat, Hadi Gholami, Nader Ghadimi, Ali Najafi, Mahmood Jalilian- were charged of "disturbing social order, issuing announcements and holding illegal gatherings". The teachers have been sentenced for their participation in teacher union rallies calling for improved living conditions for teachers and respect of their right to form a labour association. Some of these teachers have also received disciplinary sentences from the Administrative Disciplinary Board. Yousef Zareie is displaced for 36 months to Ilam; Nader Ghadimi is displaced for 60 months to Northern Khorasan; Hadi Gholami is suspended for 12 months and Yousef Refahiyat has had his pay cut two grades.

Since the new Iranian academic year has begun on September 23, the intimidation has been relentless on the teachers of Iran. Throughout the year, teachers and academic workers of Iran participated in a nationwide protest movement to denounce the distressing work conditions and livelihoods in education. The government responded to these protests with threats, beatings, arrests, dismissals, and suspension of teachers. Information provided to EI by the ITTA indicates that 286 security files have been opened on teachers who have been arrested in the context of the protests. Over 700 teachers who have been identified in the protests have had pay cuts, 86 teachers have been suspended and 39 teachers have been banned from teaching. Security forces also seek to intimidate teachers and union officials to prevent them from seeking membership to Education International. The ITTA representative who attended the EI World Congress in July was arrested upon his arrival in the Tehran airport and he has been abducted twice since. His apartment was raided and all the documents related to the application process to EI were taken away.