Teachers’ rights activist Esmail Abdi was arrested on April 20, 2020, when he referred to the Evin Prison’s Courthouse to extend his prison leave.
Mr. Abdi had been temporarily released from Evin Prison on March 17, 2020 upon the Judiciary’s directive to grant prison leave to prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden arrest and detention of activist teacher Esmail Abdi contradicts the Judiciary’s directive. Even the assistant prosecutor of Evin Prison had endorsed that activist teachers Esmail Abdi and Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi were eligible to enjoy prison leave during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Abdi was arrested despite the announcement on April 18 by the mullahs’ Chief of Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, that a large portion of the prisoners who had been granted prison leaves may be released for good.
Mr. Esmail Abdi, secretary of the Teachers’ Guild, taught math in high schools. He was arrested on June 25, 2015, when he went to the Evin Courthouse to inquire about the reason he had been banned from leaving the country. Instead of responding to his inquiry, he was arrested after several hours of interrogation. After six months, in March 2015, he was sentenced to six years in prison by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “collusion and association against national security.”
According to Article 134 of the Islamic Punishment Code, he should have been sentenced to 5 years on the above charges.