More than 200 teachers were arrested on Wednesday during a protest outside the parliament in Tehran demanding the release of their colleagues from jail, an activist group said.
Authorities launched a crackdown after over 2,000 teachers from across Iran gathered outside parliament carrying placards and chanting “Free those arrested,” the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said.
Anti-riot police on motorbikes roamed the streets and there was a heavy security presence in metro stations, the group of Iranian pro-democracy activists in exile said in a statement.
“The number of those arrested in today’s teachers’ protest gathering in Tehran has reached 200,” it said.
“The suppressive forces employed provisions to disperse the teachers, including by conducting attacks on the gathering… However, the freedom-loving teachers fought (them) off to again form their gathering.”
Iranian teachers gathered in front of the Parliament (Majlis), to protest their inadequate living conditions, to demand the respect of human rights and the release of their colleagues, arrested in previous demonstrations (in February and in May).
Hundreds of teachers – among them a lot of women – arrived in Tehran from all over the country, and demonstrated in front of the Parliament. The security forces decided to close the Baharestan Metro Station.
Despite the fact that the participants did not use violence, the police repressed the protest and arrested around 200 people. Amongst the people arrested there was also Hashem Khastar, speaker of the teachers’ union of Khorasan.
In the Iranian jail there are already other important trade unionists like Esmael Abdi – head of the Teachers’ Union – Rasoul Bodaqi, Mahmoud Baqeri, Alireza Hashemi and Ali-Akbar Baghani.
The NCRI is a coalition of Iranian opposition groups, including the popular People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the US and EU.
source: nowruziran / Daily Star