'Teacher's Place Is Not in Prison' - the New Academic Year Has Begun in Iran
File photo: Teachers protesting their rights and asking for the release of their colleagues from prison. " Teachers should not be behind bar"
The new academic year has begun in Iran, but in the mullahs' regime the main pillars of education, the teachers, are living under inhumane conditions. Their most basic needs are not attainable and many of them are in prison for protesting their situation.
The Iranian regime’s deliberate disregard for the teachers’ demands has left them with no choice but to protest. The unprecedented increase of the living costs has put so much pressure on teachers. They are not able to afford the least of their living costs with a salary that is one-third of the poverty line, therefore they are forced to have multiple jobs at once.
Detained teachers and their ongoing protests shows their relentlessness in facing the Iranian regime and achieving their goals.
Teachers behind bars
Teachers, highly respected by the people, have no good standing in the mullahs' regime, Instead of obtaining their basic needs, they face imprisonment, humiliation and deprivation. Despite all the pressure, however, Iranian teachers have never succumbed to systematic repression by the Iranian regime and have repeatedly joined other Iranian social sectors in demanding their rights.
The tragedy of flogging teachers is a painful story that weighs on our national conscience and hurts everyone. Nowhere in the world except in Iran can we find such an example of inhumanity. The school year has begun; while a significant number of teachers are still in prison.
In such circumstances, chants of "free teachers" are heard across Iranian cities. Iranian freedom-loving teachers, without fear of imprisonment, have continued to teach the lesson of resistance against oppression.
Teachers give the lesson of resistance and pay its heavy price
In recent years, many teachers have been imprisoned and condemned to lashes for protesting their educational disadvantages, inhumane living conditions, and non-payment of arrears, but they continue to resist the Iranian regime’s oppression.
#Iran: Court Of Appeals Upheld Upholds Prison Sentence For Jailed Teacher Mohammad Habibi— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 26, 2018
Court of Appeals upheld 10-and-a-half-year prison sentence for jailed teacher Mohammad Habibi. pic.twitter.com/gr517jZdwu
Mohammad Habibi, a member of the board of directors of the Teachers' Association of Tehran Province, was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes for "gathering and colluding to commit a crime against national security," "propaganda against the state" and "disturbing public order." He has also been banned from leaving the country and is still in prison.
Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi, a spokesman for the Teachers' Union, is imprisoned in Evin Prison since September 7, 2016. He has repeatedly been summoned, interrogated, detained and imprisoned for his activities in recent years and is currently serving a five-year sentence.
Isfahan, central #Iran— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) May 10, 2018
During their coordinated nationwide protest against their low salaries and the low quality of education at schools, teachers further demanded the release of prominent trade unionist Ismail Abdi. pic.twitter.com/wrPj9CJNSv
Ismail Abdi, secretary of the Teachers' Association of Iran (Tehran), was arrested on November 10, 2016, by the regime’s security forces and transferred to Ward 8 of Evin Prison to serve his sentence.
An 'Exceptional Schools' teacher in Bushehr was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and 74 lashes on February 26, 2016, by a regime court without access to a lawyer and the list goes on.
Teachers, guides to student uprising
Grappling with various crises, the Iranian regime has lost the ability to respond to social problems and has no response to the demands of teachers. Therefore, it has increased suppression in fear of a possible social uprising. Yet, the oppression will lead to more radicalism in social movements and increase the connection between the Iranian people and their organized resistance. Daily protests and other facts confirm this.
Last year, Iran’s honourable teachers and educators held more than 1,000 series of strikes, protest gatherings and nationwide protests in 156 cities. And student protests exceeded 180 in universities across #Iran. #FreeIran pic.twitter.com/OkVmixFF7T— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) September 22, 2019
Teachers are students' role models and guides. The Iranian student movement played a pivotal role in overthrowing the Shah’s regime. It can and should play a role in overthrowing the religious fascism ruling Iran. By imprisoning teachers, the Iranian regime plans the seeds of protest in Iranian schools, which, will form a storm that will sweep the Iranian regime from power.