Iran News ...


10/09/09

World Teachers Day marked in Tehran with arrest of members of Iranian teachers association

By Shirin Karimi, Rooz Online

The secretary-general and 12 members of the Iranian Teachers Association were detained one day after the World Teachers Day. According to various reports, members of the Iranian Teachers Association were detained two days ago at the residence of Mr. Baghani, the association's secretary-general, and moved to an unknown location.

According to the association's website, Baghani, Beheshti, Rezaei, Bohlouli, Niknejad, Javadi, Javadpour, Ghoreishian, Dehghan, Nouri and Badpar were the teachers detained yesterday.

Asghar Zati, the association's former spokesperson and current member, said, "About two o'clock, two vans bearing no signs stopped in front of the house of the Iranian Teachers Association's secretary-general, detained everyone present at the meeting and transported them to an unknown location."

According to Zati, the association's board members regularly met every Tuesday afternoon, and did not have a special gathering this time.

The Iranian Teachers Association had released a statement yesterday demanding the immediate release of its detained members, including Rasoul Badaghi, Hashem Khastar, Farzad Kamangar, Abdollah Momeni, Jafar Ebrahimi and Mohammad Davari, among others.

The statement also called for the resolution of all cases open since 1999 involving the association's members, the restitution of their rights, removal of restrictions on the activities of civil society organizations belonging to students, laborers, women's right activists, lawyers, journalists and particular teachers associations across the country.

Last year, on September 18, security forces arrested several members of the teachers associations from Tehran and other cities following a meeting of the nationwide teachers associations coordination council.

While no reason has yet been given for the teachers' arrest, the hardline Kayhan daily published an insulting editorial yesterday, referring to the association as a "gorouhak" ["grouplet," a term used to describe anti-revolutionary groups in the 1980s]. Kayhan wrote, "Some members of the grouplet (ie the Association of Iranian Teachers) maintain organic relations simultaneously with leftist and several radical reformist groups, who use teachers concerns as bates for absorbing new members."
 

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