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Dozens Of Teachers Arrested In Iran During Protests

A scene from the teachers' protest on May 2 2019.
A scene from the teachers' protest on May 2 2019.

The Teachers’ Coordinating Council Of Iran (TCCI) says dozens of teachers have been arrested for participating in widespread protests on Thursday, May 2, across the country.

Thousands of educators, celebrating National Teachers Day, had rallied on Thursday in front of the Education Department offices in at least thirteen large provinces to protest lack of government attention to their demands.

TCCI, which had called for the rallies, says that the security forces detained prominent teachers' rights activists and board members of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA), Rasoul Bodaghi and Mohammad Fallahi.

Meanwhile, a teachers' rights activist told Radio Farda that several others were also detained during the protest rally in Tehran.

The same source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security concerns, added that three detained female teachers were released later.

According to TCCI's resolution read at the end of the Thursday rally in Tehran, Iranian teachers are deeply unhappy with the “below poverty line” minimal pensions paid to retired educators.

In the meantime the resolution has bitterly criticized the security forces of hindering teachers attempt to launch an independent and united trade union, while keeping several teachers' rights activists, including a board member of ITTA, Esmaeil Abdi, behind bars.

Mr. Abdi's wife, Monir, told Radio Farda that the security forces detained Mohammad Fallahi, almost immediately after he read the final resolution at the end of Thursday protest rally.

"Banners carried by me were forcefully grabbed by the security forces, throwing me to the ground," Ms. Abdi said, adding, "When Mr. Bodaghi protested, he was immediately detained and taken away."

According to Amnesty International (AI), since May 2018 the Islamic Republic security forces have detained two dozen teachers.