UK’s largest education union supports jailed Iranian teachers

The UK’s largest education union, in a letter acquired by Iran News Wire, confirmed its strong support of Iranian teachers, especially those who are jailed in Iran.

“I assure you that the plight of the people, and in particular teachers, of Iran is not forgotten by the National Education Union – NUT Section,”
Samidha Garg, the International Relations Officer of the National Education Union – NUT Section wrote in response to a letter by a human rights activist. 

“Just this year, we have written multiple letters to the Iranian authorities demanding the fair treatment and release of Esmail Abdi and Mohammed Habibi, released a statement on the protests in January, and promoted campaigns and petitions for the protection of trade union rights in the nation. We work closely with partners in the UK and abroad to call on the Iranian authorities to protect the human rights of their citizens.”

“We will continue to do everything in our power to support our brothers and sisters in Iran. We understand that their fight cannot be won without the support of the international community, and you can count on ours indefinitely,” the International Relations Officer added.

Amnesty International also issued an urgent action on the plight of jailed teacher Mohammad Habibi saying he was in need of medical attention.

“Imprisoned Iranian teacher and trade unionist Mohammad Habibi is in poor health and is being denied the urgent specialized medical care he needs. He is a prisoner of conscience, serving 10 and a half years in prison solely for exercising his human rights,” Amnesty wrote.

Jailed Iranian teacher Mohammad Habibi

“He must be immediately and unconditionally released,” the UK based rights group added.

Other prominent detained teachers trade unionists include Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi and Esmail Abdi.

In light of the fact that the line of poverty in Iran is 4 million tomans (around $950), the 1.4 million toman (around $330) wage of teachers puts them squarely under the line of poverty.

As a result, most teachers work more than one shift which directly affects their teaching abilities as they are preoccupied with solving their financial issues and making enough money to survive.

In the past year, Iranian teachers have had 200 acts of protests to urge the government to listen to their grievances. The government has not only ignored their pleas but has brutally suppressed and jailed them.

According to new developments, the Coordination Council of Teachers Trade Unions in Iran called for a general strike on Sunday and Monday in protest to low wages. They called on teachers to go to school but not participate in classes. 

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