Iranian unionist rearrested one month after release
News has reached Education International of the rearrest of Iranian education union leader Esmail Abdi.
Education International (EI) has been notified by the Iranian diaspora that Tehran teacher union leader Esmail Abdi was taken from his house on 27 July and returned to Evin Prison in Tehran.
This arrest comes exactly two years after his initial arrest in connection with his union activities for the rights of teachers and to prevent his participation in the EI World Congress in Ottawa, Canada.
In October 2016, Abdi, a leader of the Tehran Teacher Trade Association, was sentenced to six years in jail on false charges. On 30 April 2017, he began a hunger strike to protest the continued, unlawful repression of teachers and human rights defenders and the lack of judicial independence in Iran.
After 38 days of hunger strike, he was temporarily transferred to hospital on 3 June 2017 before returning to Evin Prison two days later. He was released on bail on 25 June.
His rearrest on 27 July follows the arrest a few days earlier of 15 members of the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate. These activities by Government forces indicate a renewed repression on unionists.
Abdi has been targeted by the Iranian authorities for his union activism and campaign for free and accessible public education for all. During his previous incarceration in Evin Prison, reports indicated that Abdi had been kept in harsh detention conditions and was denied communication with his family and lawyer.
EI: Government must respect union rights
EI and its union partners demand that the government lifts all sanctions against education unionists for their legitimate trade union activities, and that it respects fundamental human and trade unions rights for all workers and public servants.