Sunday, April 15, 2007

13 Teachers Are Arrested in Tehran and Hamedan

The Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran today announced the arrests in recent days of 13 teachers in Tehran and Hamedan. It said that the detentions are a clear sign of human rights being violated.

Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi also condemned the detention of teachers who have staged public protests over low wages. The arrests in recent days follow an earlier spate of arrests in March after a series of demonstrations were staged by teachers.

ISNA, the student news agency, also reported today that three persons were arrested on Saturday and transferred to Evin Prison over the March demonstrations. ISNA named them as Hamid Pour-Vosugh, Mohammad Reza Rezai Garakani and Alireza Akbari Nabi.

Pour-Vosugh is the deputy head of the teachers' union, and the other two are directors of a weekly publication called Ghalam-e Moallem (Teacher's Pen).

Thousands of teachers gathered in front of the Iranian parliament in three separate protests in March, demanding higher salaries and accusing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of not keeping his election promises to spread wealth. Teachers in Iran are forced to take second jobs in the private sector or to work as taxi drivers to make ends meet.

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