Iranian Civil Society Calls for Support of Detained Teachers and Trade Unionists during ILO Summit

by Zamaneh Media — 8June2022

Since the end of April, dozens of civil and labor activists have been arbitrarily detained in Iran in what has been recognized as a mass state crackdown on civil society.

Iranian Jailed Teachers and Unionists

While contact and updates on the status of detainees has been limited, union sources reveal that Mohammad Habibi and Jafar Ebrahimi, members of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Tehran as well as prominent labor rights activist Reyhaneh Ansari were set a bail of 700 million toman. Despite families immediately posting bail at Evin Courthouse, none of the detainees were released, even temporarily.

In a Clubhouse meeting held by Zamaneh on May 19, several labor activists and related informants discussed the connection between the recent repressive measures and targeting of teachers, workers and activists and the exponential inflation nationwide.

Poor economic conditions, rising food prices and inequalities have sparked nationwide protests in the last month. While some protests were organized or led by trade union members, the attacks and arrests of members and activists violates the most basic principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This includes freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Iran is a current member of the ILO, however, the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations and Iran’s national teacher’s organizations has urged the ILO to remove the Islamic Republic’s delegates from the governing board.

The annual summit of ILO has been taking place since 27 May and it is scheduled to end on 11 June.

Civil activist couple Keyvan Mohtadi, a member of the Iranian Writer’s Association (IWA), translator, and Anisha Asadollahi, tranlator also remain in detention. Some sources claim their charges as cooperating with groups against the regime. These are false claims used to target writers and translators like Keyvan and Anisha who were merely doing their jobs. Anisha Asadollahi has been held in solitary confinement for more than 30 days as of now. Solitary confinement is considered torture by human rights advocates.

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