Iran: Education International has sent a protest letter to the government of Iran deploring the arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention of Mokhtar Asadi, teacher and member of the Iranian Teacher Trade Association in the province of Kurdistan.
Education International (EI) was informed that Mokhtar Asadi was arrested in Sanandaj on 14 February, hours after teachers held a peaceful protest in front of the Kurdistan Provincial Education and Training Office. The rally demanded decent working conditions, free quality education for all, and a halt to the privatisation of education.
Protesters were holding up signs with slogans, including “Learning in one’s mother tongue is every human’s right”, “Free education for all citizens”, and “End education privatisation”. Teachers also called for the end of the crackdown on peaceful protest and the release of detained teachers. The same day, Iranian teachers also held peaceful protest actions in several other cities in the province of Kurdistan, including Orumiyeh, Marivan and Kermanshah.
Asadiwas driving home with his family when members of the security forces stopped his car, inflicted violence, and arrested him. He was arrested and has been detained without a warrant. His family and colleagues have no information about his whereabouts.
Mokhtar Asadi had already been sentenced to exile and imprisonment between 2005 and 2010 due to his activities as a trade union and rights activist.
In 2010, he was arrested and jailed at Evin Prison for 66 days before being released on bail.
Later, he was sentenced to one year in prison by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran’s Branch 15 on charges of “propaganda against the state”. He was released in July 2018.