Education International (EI) Protests, Iranian Teachers Union Leader Imprisonment

Abdi was charged with “assembling and colluding against national security” and this was upheld by the Tehranian Appeal Court on October 7.

EI said this was an unjust charge which contravenes human rights conventions, including freedom of expression and association, and the right of unions to be consulted on education policies.

EI encourages its member organisations and individual affiliates to petition the authorities through the LabourStart appeal.

Abdi had previously been unfairly detained in 2015, along with three other Iranian teacher unionists, to prevent them from attending the 7th World Congress of Education International in Ottawa, Canada.

His much-publicized hunger strike and solidarity campaigns across the globe resulted in his release in early 2016.

The Regime have created a crisis in the country’s educational system.

They have privatised the education system which contradicts any notion of equal opportunity in Iran. It has resulted in 3.5 million students, specifically girls, the poor, and those from rural or nomadic backgrounds, being banned from attending school.

Teachers are denied their basic rights, often their wages are below the poverty line. Iranian teachers have organised nationwide protests and strikes, demanding systematic change.

Authorities constantly attempt to silence these teachers through repression and incarceration.

This means that up to 150,000 highly-skilled Iranians emigrate every year because of high unemployment, as well as political oppression and lack of religious freedom.