Iran: Teachers union leader six year jail sentencing upheld

Teachers fighting poverty wages and leaders’ imprisonment

An Appeal Court in Tehran has confirmed a six year jail sentence against Esmail Abdi, the general secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association. He was jailed on two charges, one year for ‘propaganda against the state’ and five years for ‘collusion against national security’.

Abdi was originally arrested in June 2015 after attempting to travel to Armenia to obtain a travel visa for Canada so he could attend Education International (EI) World Congress in Ottawa the following month. Last January, after nearly seven months of “temporary detention”, Adbi went on trial in January 2016 and was later sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Previously Adbi has been detained four times between 2006 and 2009, and in 2011 he was given a 10-year suspended prison sentence by the Tehran Revolutionary Court for “propaganda against the state” and “revealing information about security matters.”

The real background to this trial is the repeated protests that Iranian teachers have made since March 2015 against poverty wages and the imprisonment of their leaders. (“Independent workers’ organizations statement about minimum wage”

Just before this year’s May Day, while awaiting the outcome of his appeal, Adbi and another imprisoned trade unionist, Jafar Azimzadeh, went on hunger strike. After two months they got temporary release from prison (see “Jailed trade unionists announce start of hunger strikes on April 29

The confirmation of his six year sentence means that it is important that protests demand that Adhi is not imprisoned and for an end to the persecution of trade unionists.

Please send protests to:

President Hassan Rouhani using a form on this webpage:

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran:

The Majlis, Iran’s parliament:

Ali Larijani, Speaker of Iran’s parliament:

Chief of Iran’s Judiciary using a form on this webpage:

IRNA, Iran’s state run news agency, messages sent via clicking on photographs of Iranian leaders:


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October 2016