As the schools are about to open, a large number of teachers in the country continue to linger in prison, including Messrs Mahmoud Beheshti Langeroudi, Mehdi Bohlouli and Reza Neiknejad who are recently arrested, as well as Messrs Rasoul Bodaqi, Esmail Abdi, Ali-Akbar Baghbani, Alireza Hashemi and Abdolreza Qanbari who were already in prison. This is while Ali-Asghar Fani, Rouhani’s Education Minister, deceptively expressed hope on September 15 that the imprisoned teachers would be released before September 23, the day that schools open.
The prison term for political prisoner Mr. Rasoul Bodaqi, the noble teacher that has been in prison for six years for defending teachers’ rights, ended on August 4, 2015, but the Iranian regime refuses to free him and in an arbitrary and sham trial condemned him to another three years in prison.
In the mullahs’ regime, country’s hardworking teachers just receive a salary of one million tomans which is only one third of the poverty line announced by the regime itself. The imprisoned teachers have been arrested for defending the rights of educational workers and for attempts to remove discriminations against them, as well as for defending the right to free education and provision of equal educational resources for all Iranian pupils. They are lingering in prison on mullahs’ fabricated charges of “propaganda against the system” and “activity against national security”.
On Wednesday, September 16, three-hundred retired educational workers assembled in Pastor Square, in front of the Presidential Office. They were carrying placards which read: “We demand release of enchained teachers, Bodaghi-Beheshti-Abdi-Baghbani”, “Where is root of prejudice? Poverty line 3 million, salary of us, the retired, 1 million”.
Similarly, on September 16, in Ahwaz, hundreds of school managers and teachers assembled in front of the General Education Department. On this same day, kindergarten teachers of Mazandaran schools also assembled in front of regime’s General Education Department of this province to protest that the salary-payment-law has not been implemented.
Teachers nationwide have called for a gathering in various cities on October 5, World Teachers’ Day, to protest the trampling of their rights and in support of the imprisoned teachers.