The NASUWT has condemned the jailing of the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA-Tehran) on unjust and spurious grounds. Mr Esmail Abdi has been sentenced to six years in prison on charges including “assembling and colluding against national security”.
The sentence is a further incarceration after Mr Abdi was previously jailed and released. During his first imprisonment, Mr Abdi began a hunger strike, and after solidarity campaigns in Iran and throughout the world from various labour and teachers organisations he was temporarily released. His hunger strike had lasted for 63 days at the time of his release.
The re-sentencing comes at a time when Islamic regime policies have created a full blown crisis for the country’s educational system and teachers’ living conditions. Many students from low income families are practically banned from accessing education, with reports showing that three and a half million students from disadvantaged backgrounds are unable to attend school.
Iranian teachers are continuing to teach despite many of them also being deprived of their basic rights and liberties. Teachers’ wages are often below the official poverty line.
Iranian teachers’ nationwide protests and strikes over the past few years, clearly showing their opposition to these circumstances. They campaign tirelessly for a systematic change of these inhumane, discriminatory and repressive conditions.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is attempting to eliminate teachers’ grievances and demands through repression of their protests and lengthy incarceration of their representatives and activists. This has clearly been shown through the imprisonment of Mr Abdi.
The NASUWT is standing in solidarity with the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) to protest this unjust jail sentence. Working together and with the support of Education International (EI), we will fight until Esmail Abdi is released.
Original Link: https://www.nasuwt.org.uk/article-listing/calls-for-freedom-for-jailed-head-of-itta.html