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Source: RFE/RL

Nov 2, 2023

Iran Continues Clampdown On Teachers' Union Activists As Court Upholds Educator's Sentence

An Iranian court has upheld the six-month prison sentence of one teachers' union activist, while another faced his third court appearance in two months as authorities continue their crackdown on organized labor.

The Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates (CCTS) reported on its Telegram channel that Atkeh Rajabi's sentence was confirmed by the Khorasan Razavi Provincial Appeals Court, with two months of jail time and four months suspended for five years.

Rajabi had been previously dismissed from her job as a teacher because she did not wear a hijab, or Islamic head scarf, when appearing in a protest video, as well as due to her participation in nationwide strikes in support of imprisoned teachers.

Rajabi, who used to teach in the northeastern Iranian city of Ahmadabad, said in the video that she could not cooperate with an institution “that allows repressive forces to take away the security and peace of our children.

”Separately, the CCTS said that Mohsen Omrani had made his third court appearance on October 31 in a trial revolving around charges of "propaganda against the system."

Omrani, who was apprehended by security forces at his residence in May amid a surge in detentions of educators' rights and labor activists, had previously been sentenced to two years of imprisonment and asset confiscation, with an additional three months and 35 lashes in a separate case.

The council condemned what it called "the systematic case fabrications" against union activists and its members.Unrest -- including several protests by teachers -- has rattled Iran in response to declining living standards, wage arrears, and a lack of welfare support.

Labor law in Iran does not recognize the right of workers to form independent unions.The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody in September 2022 for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly breathed new life into the protests, which officials across the country have tried to quell with harsh -- and sometimes deadly -- measures.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda

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