Education International concerned over Iranian Teachers Union leader arrestPublished by International Liberty on July 8, 2015
According to a statement published on their website, Education International expressed deep concern over the fate of Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association who was arrested on 27 June following his attempt to obtain a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada in late July.
After his passport was confiscated at the border, he was ordered to return to Tehran to meet with prosecutors. However, upon reporting to the prosecutors’ office he was arrested while more than 70 teachers waited outside in support.
Abdi’s arrest comes after nationwide rallies were held earlier this year to protest wages that leave the majority of teachers below the poverty line.
The Education International also expressed concern about the repression facing representatives of the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations.
EI General Secretary demanded immediate release of Esmail Abdi. “Preventing Esmail Abdi to leave the country to attend EI’s 7th World Congress is a serious violation of human rights standards,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “There is no valid reason for placing him under arrest. This is unacceptable. We are contacting the Iranian authorities demanding his immediate release. We are also requesting the heads of ILO and UNESCO to intervene.”