Mohammad Taghi Falahi, secretary general of the Tehran Teachers
Written by Sedighe Shahrokhi
The Iranian regime’s Judiciary sentenced a teacher to eight months in prison and 10 lashes for participating in a demonstration by teachers and education workers earlir this year.
On Monday, August 19, 2019, a court sentenced Mohammad Taghi Falahi, secretary general of the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Association, to eight months in prison and 10 lashes on charges of disrupting public order, the human rights group Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM) reported on Wednesday.
The Iranian regime’s security forces arrested Falahi on May 2 (Teachers’ Day in Iran) at a peaceful rally in front of the Ministry of Education in Tehran.
Several people were also arrested at the May 2 Teachers’ Day rallies that were held in front of the local offices of the education department in various Iranian cities.
The Council of Teachers Unions had previously issued a statement, asking teachers to hold rallies to pursue their demands and protest the regime’s lack of response.
Security forces cracked down on several of those demonstrations and arrested many protesters, including formerly imprisoned teachers’ rights activist Rassoul Bodaghi and two members of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), Mohammad Fallahi and Mojtaba Ghoreishian.
Teacher activists are systematically persecuted by the Iranian regime. They are jailed and sentenced to hefty prison terms.
Hamidreza Rahmati, a member of the Isfahan Teachers’ Association, was recently sentenced to 18 months of prison and 74 public lashes on charges of “disrupting public order by carrying out an abnormal act outside the Education Department building”. He was sentenced to another 18 months of prison and a 20 million rial fine (around $600) allegedly for “sending messages on social media that encouraged violence.”
The teachers’ rights activist was arrested in December 2018 for holding a solitary nine-day sit-in outside the Shahreza Education Department in protest to the largescale arrest of teachers during their nationwide strike. He was released on bail.
The court also ordered Rahmati to write and publish a list on social media containing 40 services and achievements of the Iranian regime during its 40-year rule.
Following a teachers’ strike in Iran on November 13 and 14, 2018 in more than 80 cities, security forces detained a number of activists and teachers. The Iran Teachers’ Coordination Council said in a statement that at least 30 activists were summoned while 12 teachers were detained.