Jailed Teacher, Abdolreza Ghanbari, was released from prison on March 17, 2016
Ali Akbar Baghani released on bail but is exiled to the City of Zabol
Jailed Teacher, Abdolreza Ghanbari, was released from prison on March 17, 2016. Mr. Ghanbari was arrested in late December of 2009 in Modaress High School, where he was a teacher at the time, by the agents of the Intelligence Ministry, and was moved to the infamous ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. After being subjected to torture and forced confessions, he was sentenced to death by the notorious Judge Salavati of the 15th Branch of Islamic Revolutionary Court, on charges of “connections with opposition groups and media outlets abroad, and participating in the Ashura demonstration of December 27, 2009.” Mr. Ghanbari’s family was subjected to tremendous psychological pressures.
After his initial death sentence, Mr. Ghanbari received 15 years jail term and it finally got reduced to 10-year prison sentence by the appeals court. At the time of his release, he was incarcerated in Rajai Shahr prison. He was released due to the elimination of Article 186 of the Islamic Penal Code in Iran (More on that in future updates).
Ali Akbar Baghani, a member of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, who was incarcerated since May 25, 2015, was released on bail on March 16, 2016. He was charged with membership in a trade union of teachers and participating in meetings, which resulted in one year imprisonment and exile to Zabol city. With the end of his sentence, according to the Tehran Public Prosecutor, he will be on bail in Tehran for a short term and then will be exiled to the city of Zabol.
Mr. Baghani was first arrested in 2010 following a meeting of the Central Council of Teachers’ Trade Associations, along with Mahmoud Beheshti Langroodi and Esmail Abdi; all three of them were transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison at that time. These teachers’ union activists each spent nearly two months in solitary confinement and then released on heavy bails. All three of them were arrested again in 2015 and have received heavy jail terms. Mr. Ali Akbar Baghani in connection with his 2010 case was sentenced to one year in prison on charge of propaganda against the system and was also sentenced to 10 years in exile to Zabol city. As of March 16, 2016, He in total has finished one year prison term and will have to start his exile shortly.
International campaigns for freedom of imprisoned Iranian teachers have been taking place in recent years by numerous organizations including Education International and Amnesty International.
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)