Iranians in Canada protest abuse of teachers rightsPublished by International Liberty on July 27, 2015
‘War, political turmoil and diplomacy aren’t usually the first terms that come to mind when it comes to education. But lack of world peace and tenable living conditions for teachers were among the more prominent discussion points at the Education International’s Seventh World Congress, made all the more visible by a peaceful protect held outside Ottawa’s Shaw Centre,’ the Ottawa Citizen reported last week.
Iranians living in Canada demonstrated in front of the Global Education Congress to protest human rights abuses against teachers in Iran.
The organisers demanded the release of imprisoned teachers in Iran.
In particular, they pinpointed the case of Esmail Abdi, the Iranian Teachers Union leader who was supposed to attend the conference. But, after being denied a visa to visit the conference his passport was confiscated and he was arrested in Tehran, former MP David Kilgour said. “There’s no valid reason for placing him under arrest,” Kilgour told the Canadian paper.
Hamid Gharajeh, who helped organize the protest, said the arrest of Abdi was symbolic of a larger problem in Iran, where “any person who speaks out against the government” faces suppression. “They’re executing people left and right in Iran,” he said.
Although the issue of peace is not extremely visible to those who are “privileged enough to live in the West,” conflict around the world throws up road blocks to education, said Timo Linsenmaier, senior co-ordinator of communications at Education International. “We have members in Iraq and Iran that are actually suffering quite a lot from their government,” he said.
The conference, which is held once every four years, draws representatives from more than 400 affiliates across the world, representing more than 32 million teachers.