Education International concerned over Iranian Teachers Union leader arrest

Education International concerned over Iranian Teachers Union leader arrest

Published by on July 8, 2015

Abdi_Iran_300According 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.”


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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

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