Iran’s Judiciary sentenced a teacher to three years of prison, 74 lashes in public and a fine in the central province of Isfahan for holding a sit in.
According to the sentence issued by the 103rd branch of the Shahreza Penal Court, Hamidreza Rahmati, who is member of the Isfahan Teachers’ Association, was sentenced to 18 months of prison and 74 public lashes on charges of “disrupting public order by carrying out an abnormal act outside the Education Department building”. He was sentenced to another 18 months of prison and a 20 million toman fine (around $600) for “sending messages on social media that encouraged violence”.
The teacher activist was arrested and then released on bail for carrying out a solitary nine day sit-in outside of the Shahreza Education Department last December protesting the widespread arrest of teachers during their nationwide strike.
The Isfahan court has also obligated Hamidreza Rahmati to write and publish a list on social media containing 40 services and achievements of the Iranian regime during its 40 year rule.
Following a teachers’ strike in Iran on November 13 and 14, 2018 in more than 80 cities, security forces detained a number of activists and teachers. The Iran Teachers’ Coordination Council, which was the organization that called for the strike, said in a statement that at least 30 activists were summoned while 12 teachers were detained.
Teacher activists are systematically prosecuted by the Iranian regime. They are jailed and sentenced to hefty prison terms.
Despite this, Iranian officials have reiterated that Iran does not have any political prisoners. Iran insists on calling detained activists, laborers and dissidents, “security prisoners”.
On Monday, during a live televised program, a spokesperson for Iran’s Judiciary said that “we don’t have any political prisoners”.
“Those who sometimes claim (to be political prisoners) are those who have committed crimes against security,” Gholamhossein Esmaili added.