Two Iranian Teachers Arrested Following Nationwide Protests


May 2, 2019 – Riot police in Tehran arrested two teachers during nationwide protests on May 2, which marks Teachers Day in Iran. Unconfirmed reports have identified the two teachers as Rasul Bodaghi and Mohammad Falahi. According to eyewitnesses, security police dragged Mr. Bodaghi on the pavement before loading him into a van and placed Mr. Falahi in a car. It is unclear where the authorities are holding the two teachers.

Teachers in 30 cities around the country responded to a call by the Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) to hold public rallies, calling on the government to raise pensions in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

Footage shows a large group of teachers protesting in front of their provincial departments of education around the country. The demonstrators also demanded an end to discrimination in the workplace based on gender, race, ethnic origin and religion. They called for an immediate release of imprisoned teachers.

Demonstrators were shouting “Release jailed teachers,” and “Neither the Majlis [Iranian Parliament] nor the government cares about people,” and “Teachers must receive their salaries.”

A video clip shows teachers in the city of Karaj, 20 kilometers west of the capital Tehran, shouting “educators must receive their pay.”

Footage shows an unidentified man addressing a group of protesters in Hamadan, capital of the northeastern province of Hamadan, saying: “Apathy and neglect have inflicted irreparable damage on the country’s education system. We are here to say that intimidation, threats, arrests, and false accusations will not silence an innocent and oppressed group. We will fight discrimination and injustice. We will not remain silent. Covert and overt efforts to silence an oppressed segment of society should not be a source of pride for those in power.”

He adds: “Meanwhile, a privileged and corrupt group has destroyed the country’s economy. We call on the officials to stand with us, and those who do not support our efforts are among the oppressors.”

Images from Teachers Day in different citeis in Iran.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]