Iranian education activists sentenced to 9 months of imprisonment, 74 lashes
Six Iranian education activists were each sentenced to nine months behind bars and 74 lashes which could be bought for 500,000 Rials.
Aliyeh Eghdam Doost, Rasoul Bodaghi, member of the board of directors of the Teachers’ Association of Iran, Esmail Gerami, Javad Zolnouri, Hossein Gholami, and Mohammad Abedi, stood trial on September 5. They were charged with “disrupting public order by participating in illegal gatherings” and “defying on duty the police.”
The six activists were arrested during a May 10 teachers’ protest in the Iranian capital, Tehran, and have been on bail. The State Security forces have violently broken up their rally, beating up some of the demonstrators and arresting several demonstrators.
Called for by The Council for Coordinating Teachers’ Trade Associations, the protests were held in front of the Budget and Planning Organization in Tehran and outside Education Ministry offices in other cities, including Isfahan, Divandareh, Kazerun, Kermanshah, Khoramabad, Mamasani, Marivan, Mashhadd, Qorveh, Sari, Shiraz, and Tabriz.
A board member with the Tehran Teachers Trade Association, Sediqeh Pakzamir, tweeted May 10 that several teachers had been detained during the protests in the capital, among them prominent teachers’ rights activists Mohammad Taqi Fallahi, Mohammad Habibi, Ali Zolfi, Ismail Gerami, Mohammad Hassan Poureh, and Rasoul Bodaqi, according to Ms. Pakzamir, who also tweeted that some protesters in Tehran were “savagely beaten.”
At the time, some government officials opposed the arrests of teachers. In a public session at the parliament on Sunday, May 13, 2018, Fatemeh Saeedi, member of parliament from Tehran, asserted, “The peaceful gathering of teachers in protest to their horrible living conditions turned violent because of aberrant intervention in disregard for Article 27 of the Constitution, and a group of protesters were arrested.”
“During the events in December and January where various strata of people played a role in them, it was emphasized that the people’s complaints must be listened to,” Saeedi added. “Today, as a teacher, I would like to use this podium so that the voice of teachers is heard… Is it wise to beat and arrest a teacher who is only demanding improvement of their living conditions and the quality of education?”