Education International protest
11 March 2012
Prof Abdolreza Ghanbari, an Iranian university lecturer, has been sentenced to death for 'enmity towards God'. He was previously involved in teacher union activities until his union, ITTA, was dissolved in 2007. Education International, which represents teachers' trade unions around the world, and its member organisation in Iran, the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers' Trade Associations (CCITTA) are demanding his release, and the TUC is urging trade unionists to email the Iranian regime in support of the campaign.
Take action here, now, and spread the word.
Abdolreza Ghanbari, a 44-year-old lecturer of Payam e Nour University, was arrested at his home in Pakdasht on 4 January 2010. He was charged with Moharebeh (enmity towards God) for receiving unsolicited emails from an armed opposition group, to which he does not belong. While in detention at the notorious Evin Prison, Prof. Ghanbari was interrogated for 25 days in a row and forced to confess under duress to unproven charges.
In 2007, Prof. Ghanbari had already been detained for 120 days and sentenced to a six-month suspension from teaching and exiled from Sari to Pakdasht. Prof. Ghanbari has no known political connections. Prof. Ghanbari's death sentence has been confirmed by Tehran's Appeal Court, Branch 36 in April 2010. He has since been waiting on death row. A request for pardon was rejected on February 28 by the Commission of Justice in Tehran. It means that authorities are allowed to proceed with the execution.
Education International have called on the Iranian authorities to stay the execution of Prof. Abdolreza Ghanbari and revoke the death sentence; to drop all charges against all detained trade unionists and release them immediately; to comply with the international labour standards and respect the rights of Iranian workers to freedom of association, assembly and expression.
EI and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have requested a direct intervention of the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to request that Iran annul the death penalties for trade unionists.
EI has continued, with its affiliate CCITTA, to inform the international community about the denial of union rights for public teachers. Together they submitted allegations to the UN ECOSOC International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as to the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran. In December, in resolution 66/175 adopted by 89 member states (30 votes against, 64 abstentions), the UN voiced deep concern at Iran's 'serious on-going systematic restrictions of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression'.
EI has requested the Iranian authorities to cease putting state pressure on trade unions and to release detained union activists, as well as to formally acknowledge the legitimacy of the Coordinating Council of ITTAs. EI has specifically raised concerns about the detention of teacher unionists Abdolreza Ghanbari and Rasoul Bodaghi. A number of detained teacher unionists were released on bail in December 2011.
EI has also continued to engage in the international campaign Justice for Iranian Workers which is a network of trade union rights activists from the Global Unions and Amnesty International (including the TUC). EI also shared information with the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR).
A few years ago, we helped run an online campaign in support of a jailed Iranian teacher named Farzad Kamangar. Thousands of you sent off protest messages to Iran, but it was not enough. On 9 May 2010, Kamangar was executed. He was 32 years old. Don't let Abdolreza go the same way.
Briefing document (700 words) issued 11 Mar 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-20758-f0.cfm
printed 25 May 2013 at 07:32 hrs by 22.214.171.124