London, 03 May – May 2nd is Teachers’ Day in Iran and to mark the occasion people across the country held protests. Teachers and academics were calling for solidarity and standing up for their rights that they have been so cruelly denied.
Protests took place in front of the offices of the Education Department in more than a dozen provinces. The Teachers’ Coordinating Council of Iran (TCCI) called for the protests and gatherings and encouraged unity among the people. Reports indicate that there were a large number of women that participated in the rallies.
Protesters were heard calling for the release of their colleagues that have been imprisoned by the repressive security forces. Crowds were heard chanting various slogans such as “Teachers are in jail, plunderers are at large” and “Our suffering is your suffering, people join us”.
Teachers and academics also drew attention to the inequality in Iran and called for free and quality education for every Iranian child, not just those that can afford it. Sadly there are many children in Iran who are not sent to school for financial reasons whether that be because the family cannot afford the necessary school supplies or perhaps because the family need the child to work to supplement the low household income.
Another grievance of teachers in the country is the extremely low pay that they receive. People were heard chanting “Teachers’ salary is one third of that of poverty line”. Teachers in Iran are paid a pittance compared to teachers across the world.
During the protests yesterday, a number of teachers were arrested. The Iranian Teachers Unions Coordination Council reported on Telegram that Mohammad Fallahi, Rasoul Badaghi and Mojtaba Ghoreishian had been arrested. It is believed that dozens of others have been arrested too.
A number of Iranian protesters were arrested the previous day during the Labour Day protests. The protesters were ambushed by security forces who approached them with force, resulting in the people slamming the authorities for once again suppressing them. It is believed that there were at least 35 arrests in Tehran outside the parliament building.
Human rights organisations including Amnesty International have slammed Iran for its crackdown on public gatherings and they have called for the immediate release of all those that have been detained.
President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, praised the people for holding and participating in the rallies across the country. She said that the freedom-seeking teachers that are rising up for their rights should be supported by the wider population and especially students. Mrs. Rajavi also called on teachers’ unions and human rights organisations around the world to denounce the Iranian Mullahs for their suppression of the people and to call for the immediate release of the teachers that have been detained.
Teachers in Iran have been holding strikes across the country over the past year calling for an improvement in working conditions, an increase in pay and for the release of education activists that are imprisoned.