International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles


Friday, 3 July 2020

 
 

 

Address to the Iranian authorities

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We strongly condemn the re-arrest of Ismail Abdi and the dismissal of Mohammad Habibi from the Ministry of Education

The members of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggle draw your attention to the situation of Ismail Abdi and Mohammed Habibi, Iranian teachers.

We condemn the re-arrest of Ismail Abdi, a member of the board of directors of the Iranian teachers’ union (Tehran). Released on furlough on 17 March 2020. Mr Abdi had to report to prison on 21 April and was kept in detention. This is obviously dangerous given the uncontained spread of virus COVID19 in Iran and the particularly poor health conditions in detention centres.
Mr Abdi has been held in detention in the Evin prison since June 2015 when he led teacher marches in Tehran and applied for a visa to participate in the Education International World Congress. Education International, Amnesty International, French Trade-unions and our Network have campaigned on his behalf ever since.

We also demand for the unconditional and immediate release of another Tehran teacher association leader, Mr Mohammad Habibi, also member of the board of directors of the teachers’ union of Iran (Tehran). On August 4, 2018, he was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison. His sentence also included prohibition of social and political activities for two years, a travel ban of two years, and 74 lashes. He was arrested in May during a peaceful gathering. Since then, he has been detained under unbearably harsh conditions. A few days ago, the family of Habibi received his termination letter from the education service.

The dismissal of Habibi and the re-arrest of Abdi and of many human rights activists, trade unionists and writers, is seen as a new wave of repression aimed to keep heads down before May Day.
The Habibi’s dismissal, the new arrest of Abdi, and those of many other human rights activists, trade unionists or writers, mark a new wave of repression aimed at creating fear on the eve of May 1, International Workers’ Day.

The trade unions, the signatories of this letter, strongly condemn the unbearable repression and harassment of the Iranian trade-unionists and labour rights activists. They call on the Iranian regime to respect the international conventions ratified by its government, including freedom of association, gathering, strike and collective bargaining.

They demand solemnly the immediate and unconditional release of all the arrested teachers, trade unionists, journalists, writers and labour rights activists.