Iran: teacher trade unionist Mohammed Habibi sentenced to ten and a half years in prison

published 8 August 2018 updated 4 March 2022

Education International strongly condemns the prison sentence imposed on Mohammad Habibi, an Iranian teacher and a member of the board of directors of the Iranian Teachers'Trade Association of Tehran.The sentence is for ten and a half years of confinement.

On 4 August, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Habibi to ten year and a half in prison. His sentence also included  prohibition of social and political activities for two years, a travel ban of two years, and 74 lashes.

The International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) reported that, on 20 May, a peaceful gathering organised by the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association of Tehran (ITTA-Tehran) was attacked by security forces and undercover agents,. Fourteen participants, including Habibi, were arrested. At the time of his arrest, was on bail from a previous arrest in March 2018. All but Habibi were freed one day later. Habibi was transferred to a solitary confinement cell in Tehran's largest prison.

The IASWI warns that he is currently held in prison under unbearably harsh conditions. According to family members who visited him, Habibi is suffering from deep pains in his chest and sides, due to severe kicks and blows to his body. He also has a large visible bruise on his back, the result of undercover agents dragging him on the asphalt of the street. He needs an immediate scan of the injured areas, but public authorities have not moved him to hospital from prison.

Habibi’s treatment by prison officials “is nothing short of homicidal, criminal negligence,” the IASWI deplores, holding all officials involved in this case fully responsible for anything happening to him.

Education International (EI) joins the IASWI in calling on all progressive individuals, organisations, trade unions, and especially teachers’ organisations worldwide, to condemn Habibi’s treatment and demand his immediate and unconditional release.

The International Trade Union Confederation futher joined EI in demanding the "immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Habibi and the protection of all trade unionists from such heavy handed security tactics which are aimed at stopping trade unionists from pursing their legitimate activities".