Iranian teachers continue to be detained on the eve of World Teachers’ Day
With the new Iranian academic year, which begins on September 23, 2021, several Iranian teachers are imprisoned solely for having peacefully exercised their human rights, notably through their peaceful activism.
More than three weeks after the arrest of chemistry professor Gholamreza Gholami Kandazi, he remains in limbo at Adelabad prison in Shiraz.
He was arrested by security forces on September 8 and taken to an unknown location.
He was held in solitary confinement for some time and was transferred to Adelabad prison after his interrogation was completed. The prosecutor set a heavy bond for his provisional release. As her family cannot afford to pay the bond, her illegal temporary detention has continued.
Mr. Gholami Kandazi is a teacher union activist from Fars province who is about to retire after 30 years of service.
Mehdi Fathi, another union activist from Fars province, was violently arrested on September 14. He has had only brief contact with his family since his arrest.
Authorities denied him medical treatment despite his heart disease.
Mr. Fathi is due to be seen by a medical specialist and undergo heart surgery soon.
The teacher rights activist was arrested in the city of Pasargad in 2020 after exposing the financial misconduct of several local and religious officials, and was sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined in a lower court. The teacher was arrested while the outcome of his retrial has yet to be announced.
On September 26, state security forces arrested Aziz Ghasemzadeh, spokesperson for the Gilan Professional Teachers Association.
The Telegram channel of the Coordinating Council of Teachers Unions reported that Aziz Ghasemzadeh was “arrested at his home on Sunday afternoon and taken to an unknown location”.
Iranian judicial authorities have not yet announced the reason for his arrest.
He is currently being held in quarantine at Rudsar prison.
Iranian teachers’ protests
As in other industries, the situation of Iranian teachers is far below minimum international standards. The mullahs’ regime officials neither appreciate nor respect the work of Iranian teachers.
In one of his first decisions after being elected president in June 2021, Conservative President Ebrahim Raisi blocked an increase in teachers’ salaries that had been approved by the previous government.
Masoud Mirkazemi, the head of the Planning and Budget Organization, said the increase would have been “very difficult” to implement given the current massive budget deficit.
In response, Iranian teachers staged protests, but the regime responded by intimidating and imprisoning teacher activists.