Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan Threatened; Twelve Teachers Summoned

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011

 HRANA News Agency – Agents working for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence are placing undue pressure on teachers summoned by the agency to repudiate the statement released by Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan for May 9th.  In this statement, the union has named the day Farzad Kamangar was executed a day to reject violence and defend the right to live.

 

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), in recent days, Bahaldyn Maleki, Ramin Zandnia, Ali Qarishi, Mokhtar Asadi, Peyman Navidian, Heydar Zaman, Reza Khatami, Kamal Fakorian, Mostafa Sarbazan, Mohammad Sadiq Sadeqi, Hiva Ahmadi and Ezatollah Nosrati were summoned to the Intelligence Agency in Kurdistan Province.  The aforementioned individuals were questioned and threatened by the interrogators who had traveled from Tehran to Sanandaj [Kurdistan Province, Iran], and demands were made to rescind the union’s statement.

 

However, union members have so far insisted on their call to observe May 9th, the anniversary of Farzad Kamangar and four other individuals’ execution.  According to this report, intelligence forces have focused on pressuring Peyman Navidian and Mokhtar Asadi the most because they are union activists with prior convictions.  Peyman Navidian was exiled for nearly three years to Zanjan Province and was not allowed to work for several months.  Similarly, Mokhtar Asadi was in exile for 2 years and banned from work for 6 month.

 

In their statement, Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan has asked teachers all over Iran to light a candle on May 9th and reject organized violence.  By defending the right to live and teaching lessons of peace and human benevolence to their students, educators throughout Iran have been asked to commemorate Farzad Kamangar and his legacy as a fallen teacher

 

May 9th: A Day to Reject Violence and Defend the Right to Live

Posted on: April 28th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan has issued a statement on the occasion of Teacher’s Week in Iran.In this statement, Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan recounts the problems facing the union and the weaknesses of our country’s education system and demands the release of its imprisoned members.To commemorate May 9th and the shocking execution of Farzad Kamangar, Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan has named May 9th to be a day to reject violence and defend the right to live.Farzad Kamangar was a union member and also a human rights activist who was executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran on May 9, 2010.  

The union also has requested teachers all over the country to light a candle on May 9th and teach their students lessons to reject violence and defend the right to live.The full text of this statement is as follows:

 

 

In the Name of God, Creator of Life and Wisdom

Blessed Be Teacher’s Day

  

It was exactly this time.We were all energized, bustling around with our hearts full of joy because our day was approaching.With the words “Teacher’s Day” on our lips, we wrote a statement and gathered at Abidar1 to recount many years of pain.Long ago, Samad Behrangi wrote about the same pain while delving and probing into educational issues, and now that more than thirty years has passed after the revolution, we still struggle with the same set of problems.

 

They said that it was Teacher’s Week!?They held meetings and made much ado about nothing while getting on their soapboxes, blowing hot air and complimenting each other for making a difference in these youngsters’ lives.We stared and only watched; they didn’t allow us to say anything, but we thought how long they could keep up with all the prayer and praise.We were all worried about Rasoul’s children who were awaiting his return.What exactly had Rasoul Bodaghi and Hashem Khastar said?

  

At the foot of the mountain, we talked and said all there was to say without endangering senior management’s careers in the education system or threatening their bottom line.Far from the senior managers’ advice on the virtues of silence and away from the prying eyes of Herasat’s2 closed circuit cameras, we talked for hours about our pupils’ pain in the classroom.Without endangering national security, we talked about child labor.

  

We were happy since Farzad’s attorney had informed us that he was to return to us, and the villages of Kamyaran [Kurdistan Province, Iran] could embrace him.Repeatedly we mentioned Teacher’s Day while they proudly rubbed Teacher’s Week in our faces.It was exactly Teacher’s Week, and in front of our bewildered gazes, they took him away from us at dawn, and no one saw him again.Now, at night, he twinkles in Kurdistan’s grief-stricken sky.

  

Esteemed Educators

The year that we have put behind us was a year full of events and changes in Iran and the Middle East.It has been years that neo-conservatives have imposed their policies on people all around the world.The outcome of these policies has been privatization, unemployment, cancellation of subsidies, layoff of workers under the pretence of workforce adjustments, warmongering and militarism, weakening and dissolution of trade unions, reduction of education budgets, decreasing health insurance and social benefits, and in many countries, an increase in retirement age under the excuse of government cost-saving ideas.

  

The blatant attack on people’s basic rights in the Middle East became further apparent through the violence displayed by the police, security forces, and military governments.Threatening political rights became the means by which such countries utilized in order to impose this economic disaster on people.Nonetheless, declaring long periods of time as the state of emergency and the rule of terror didn’t deter the masses from trying to change the situation.As we have witnessed, a hung tsunami of change has washed over the Middle East and North Africa in the name of pursuing happiness and democratic rights.By making numerous sacrifices, those seeking freedom are achieving new victories every day, and dictatorships are vanishing each day.

  

Along with the spirit of twenty-first century human beings in quest of freedom, the members of Education International have not remained silent.The global federation of teachers’ trade unions has jumped into action to fight against new worldwide policies through which education is overshadowed by profit margins, and quality is sacrificed for the sake of quantity.This year, the World Congress of Education International will meet in South Africa in order to address the same issues.Obviously, the representatives of teachers’ unions throughout Iran will attend the World Congress, and with one voice together with all other teachers of the world, we will defend our democratic rights and also the right to education.

  

By placing profit at top of their agenda, recent governments in Iran have also imposed undue burden on the working class.The elimination of subsidies has made this policy apparent.In Iran, the right to form unions is not recognized.In other words, the majority of the society has been denied its legitimate right to negotiate and bargain with the government that plays the role of a major employer.Social insurances don’t have sufficient resources through which effective services can be offered to the community.Unemployment insurance hasn’t been designated for people over eighteen, and the nightmare of white signed contracts3 have become an integral and inseparable part of people’s daily lives.

  

Unfortunately, the implementation of removing subsidies has not accounted for any of these issues.Considering that minimum wage is not significantly different from last year, soaring prices and repeated sanctions imposed by the Security Council have driven a greater percentage of Iranian families below the poverty line.This means that a large number of school age children leave their classrooms behind as they head to the job market in search of work.Meanwhile, deviance and criminal behavior is on the rise.

  

Education in Iran

The atrocious story of education in Iran is a long, tragic tale piled up in the hearts of teachers throughout this land from Balochistan to Gilan, from Azerbaijan to Kurdistan, from Turkmen Sahra to Khuzestan, from Lorestan to Kermanshah, and from Ilam to Hormozgan.In the remotest corners of Iran, the sad story of education and forsaken enlightenment and intellectualism is a tale of deprived children, broken-down school buildings, substandard school books, archaic teaching methods, and under-appreciated, forgotten hardworking teachers, the same teachers who reflect the misery of their deprived pupils, the same teachers who despite poverty still lovingly keep the candle of knowledge burning in stormy nights.

  

Enduring imprisonment, exile, deportation and even flogging has become the reward for safeguarding thoughts and the praise for intellectuals.Governments come and go, and ministers hand over their responsibilities to their successors.Sometimes, they talk about changes and transforming structures, books and creating new positions or eliminating the old ones.However, it has been long since nothing substantial or worth remembering has occurred.After this useless period, we return again to the same old education system while no one is held responsible for wasting so many resources and so much energy.More importantly, no one is held accountable for the game played with a generation trapped in an education system that uses them as laboratory rats.

  

We believe that the problem is not only blocking teacher involvement but also is related to the decision making process which ignores teachers, the most important element in education.It must be acknowledged that creativity and vitality is nurtured in a democratic environment and in an atmosphere of respect for the dignity and basic rights of teachers.

  

When Mr. Haj Babaei was appointed as the education minister, teachers’ trade unions were delighted since after a long time, someone with positive tendencies and inclinations was chosen.During his term in the Parliament, Mr. Haj Babaei was willing to meet with the representatives of trade unions while ignoring government red tape and restrictions.Unfortunately, teachers were disappointed very soon as the process to eliminate critics sped up, and the pressure on trade unions increased.Meanwhile, there remains no place for teachers in the colossal ministry of education, and there are apparently no plans to transform the disappointing environment dominating over our schools into an atmosphere of informed, mutual participation and service.

  

Is it possible to envision a fundamental change in the quality of education without democratizing the education system?School curriculums change, and new school hours are implemented without the input of main players namely teachers.In the twenty-first century, teachers are treated as if they are subjects receiving sacred and holy commands from the above and are given orders that are binding and may not be questioned.As a result of a policy that considers “master’s word to be God’s word,” human energy is wasted, teachers are discouraged, and the education system is stagnant.Additionally, teachers witness the ineffectiveness of the education system every day but have no means by which they can inform the public or concerned parents.However, we feel a sense of responsibility to communicate the ongoing, pending disaster to our students’ parents in any which way possible.

  

Dear Colleagues

Congratulating Teacher’s Day to all of our colleagues throughout Iran and wishing them success in their work, Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan declares the following items to be their main demands:

  

1. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of our jailed colleagues, Rasoul Bodaghi, Hashem Khastar and Nabiollah Bastan and call for the dismissal of all pending cases against union activists in different courts.

  

2. We demand removing the ban on the publication Qalam Moalem [Teacher’s Pen] which is Iran’s only independent journal of educators.

  

3. As you are aware, May 9th is the anniversary on which Farzad Kamangar, a board member of Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan, lost his life.While honoring the humanitarian efforts of this noble and revered educator and with the slogan of “rejecting organized violence and defending the right to live,” Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan asks all educators to light a candle in their classrooms to commemorate this day.We request all teachers to designate their lectures on May 9th to be a lesson on rejecting violence in any shape or form.We shall teach the children that human beings regardless of their ethnicity, religion, language and social class are equal.We shall rise up to fight materialism and warmongering and consider seeking peace to be the highest human virtue.We shall replace animosity and hostility amongst nations with love and alliance.

  

At the end, Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan congratulates the International Workers’ Day, May 1st, to all workers and declares the union’s support for their demands.

  

Teachers’ Union of Kurdistan

Ordibehesht 1390 [April – May 2011]

 

Footnotes for the English Translation:

1.Abidar, a mountain east of Sanandaj, is a major recreational area in Iran’s Kurdistan Province.

2. Herasat is Iran’s semi-secret police tasked to monitor all educational institutes throughout the country.

3. “White signed contracts” are in effect white papers that workers in Iran sign allowing employers to determine all the terms of employment.

Five Engineers of Jam Petrochemical Complex in Assaluyeh Arrested

Posted on: April 24th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – Five engineers who were working for Jam Petrochemical Complex in Assaluyeh [Southern Iran, Bushehr Province] have been arrested by Iranian security officers.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the arrests took place at the beginning of the current Persian month of Farvardin [March 21- April 20, 2011].  The reason for the arrest and the whereabouts of five engineers are unknown.

Jam Petrochemical Complex is located at the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone and produces 1,321,000 tons of ethylene annually.  This petrochemical company also manufactures olefin, high density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene glycol / ethylene oxide, and butadiene.

[Following Ahmadinejad’s victory in 2005 presidential election, the 9th government of Iran after the revolution was established.]  Since the designation of Assaluyeh as a free trade zone by Mohammad Jahromi, Iran’s labor minister in the ninth government, workers and laborers in this region have been denied minimum protection under labor laws and social security benefits.  Instead, the entire workforce in the free trade zone is only subject to employers’ rules and regulations.

Earlier, the closure of manufacturing units and industrial crisis in Assaluyeh resulted in the dismissal of 52,000 workers in this region. 

 

Staff Rally in Front of Governor’s Office in Mahshahr

Posted on: April 13th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – This morning, one hundred employees of a special project to safeguard construction plans in the region staged a sit in and demonstration in front of the governor’s office in Mahshahr [Khuzestan Province, Iran].

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), during this gathering, the employees carried various placards and signs some of which read, “Don’t Lay Us Off.”

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Laid Off Workers Gather at the Refinery in Abadan

Posted on: April 9th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – On Sunday, April 3, 2011, dozens of laid off workers from Sakhteman Nasbe Co. and Farab Co. gathered in front of Gate 19 in Abadan’s refinery to demand their reinstatement.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), in an attempt to reduce their workforce, it has been a while since the officials at the refinery in Abadan have offered severance packages to some of the workers in order to terminate their employment.

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The List of Known Detainees in 1389

Posted on: April 8th, 2011

HRANA News Agency – During the past year, security forces have detained 5,485 civilians amongst whom the identity of 856 individuals have been revealed while 4,629 prisoners remain unknown.

The following report contains the names and personal information pertaining to 856 civilians detained in 1389.  The identities of these prisoners have been reported by human rights activists and groups, and a list of detainees has been compiled by the Statistics and Publication Unit of the organization known as Human Rights Activists in Iran.

Amongst the detainees, there were 48 members of trade unions, 449 individuals belonging to ethnic minorities, 322 members of religious minorities, 241 college students, 7 women and 51 laborers.  The list of detainees also includes 4,322 individuals arrested for expressing their beliefs and 45 people imprisoned for their civic and cultural activities.

This list is part of an annual report released by Human Rights Activists in Iran and includes an alphabetical listing of detainees’ names together with the date and place of each arrest made in violation of human rights mainly by the security forces in Iran.

 The Alphabetical Listing of Known Detainees in 1389

 

1. Fariba Ebtehaj arrested on February 10, 2011 in Tehran.

2. Kambiz Ebrahim-zadeh arrested on July 14, 2010 in Mahabad.

3. Mohammad Ebrahimi arrested on October 11, 2010 in Pavah.

4. Hajir Ebrahimi arrested on August 7, 2010 in Marivan.

5. Reza Abri arrested on December 29, 2010 in Tabriz.

6. Saeed Abrishami arrested on February 21, 2011 in Tehran.

7. Yahya Abu-Bakri arrested on March 15, 2011 in Mahabad.

8. Javad Abuali arrestd on December 7, 2010 in Behbahan.

9. Remina Ahrari arrested on March 4, 2011 in Esfahan.

10. Mohammad Ehsan Moazi arrested on February 20, 2011 in Tehran.

11. Tarane Ehsani arrested on March 12, 2011 in Semnan.

12. Osman Ahsani arrested in January or February 2011 in Bukan.

13. Hussein Ahmad-Nejad arrested on February 14, 2011 in Tehran.

14. Ismail Ahmad-Zadeh arrested in June or July 2010 in Mahabad.

15. Nooshin Ahmadi arrested on September 22, 2010 in Tehran.

16. Naeem Ahmadi arrested on June 14, 2010 in Tabriz.

17. Qurban Ahmadi arrested on an unknown date in an unknown location.

18. Sadiq Ahmadi arrested in January or February 2011 in Bukan.

19. Ahmad Ahmadi arrested on March 1, 2011 in Shiraz.

20. Luqman Ahmadian arrested in July or August 2010 in Saqqez.

21. Adham Akhtari arrested on March 5, 2011 in Mashhad.

22. Ali Reza Akhvan arrested on June 4, 2010 in an unknown location.

23. Akbar Arsalani arrested on January 3, 2011 in Urmia.

24. Ali Reza Ershad arrested on March 1, 2011 in Shiraz.

25. Afshin Osanloo arrested on November 22, 2010 in Tehran.

26. Saman Ostevar arrested on March 2, 2011 in Kerman.

27. Reza Astifan arrested on June 28, 2010 in Mashhad.

28. Zyayyh Eshaghi (Shohay) arrested on February 2, 2011 in Mashhad.

29. Nemat Asadi arrested on June 22, 2010 in Sanandaj.

30. Mokhtar Asadi arrested on June 28, 2010 in Karaj.

31. Ibrahim Askafy arrested on January 24, 2011 in an unknown location.

32. Delier Eskandari arrested on December 28, 2011 in Sanandaj.

33. Baagher Askviy arrested on February 14, 2011 in Tehran.

34. Majid Eslami arrested on April 29, 2010 in an unknown location.

35. Farzad Eslami arrested on December 5, 2010 in Tehran.

36. Yadollah Eslami arrested on February 11, 2011 in Tehran.

37. Hafiz Ismail arrested on November 1, 2010 in Zahedan.

38. Omar Ismail Pur arrested on November 11, 2010 in Naghdeh.

39. Ebrahim Ismail Pur arrested on November 11, 2010 in an unknown location.

40. Ebrahim Esmaeili arrested on October 29, 2010 in Naghdeh.

41. Rahbar Esmaeili arrested on April 2, 2010 in Orumieh.

42. Neda Esmaeili arrested on an unknown date in Shiraz.

43. Ali Esmaeili-Nejad arrested on December 21, 2010 in Bookan.

44. Ebrahim Esmeili arrested on January 18, 2011 in Tabriz.

45. Mohammad Aslani arrested between June and July 2010 in Tabriz.

46. Mohammad Atmani arrested between February and March 2011 in Salmas.

47. Zahra Eftekhari arrested on February 11, 2011 in Tehran.

48. Mohammad Afkhami arrested on February 16, 2011 in Tehran.

49. Mokhtar Afra arrested on August 31, 2010 in Marivan.

50. Misagh Afshar arrested on February 15, 2011 in Tehran.

854. Firooz Yosefi arrested on June 21, 2010 in Tehran.

855. Milad Yosefi arrested on July 15, 2010 in Paveh.

856. Hassan Younsei arrested on February 20, 2011 in Tehran.

More

 

Security space in Tehran

Posted on: February 14th, 2011

Deployment of security forces in the routes leading to Azadi Square(route march today) started in Tehran and strongly security space is described.
Reporters informed the news agencies of Human Activists in Iran HRANA ,Imam Hosein Square, Shemiran Gate, Vakli Asr, and other areas of intersection march route as the bottleneck of forces is considered.
Interesting point is that the security forces are often station far from the settlement and plain clothes and driving a motorcycle is not news.


Cell phones interfere with one hand and short messaging system(SMS) also caused a slower process is informing.
It is said that at Azadi Square, people creating artificial traffic and traffic restrictions without attention to design traffic(even and odd plate cars) prevent the presence of security forces in this area has been also people with the deployment of traffic , Basij Meghdad and have prevented.
Activists report, a large rally in Tehran, Sadeghi Square, at 1.30 PM, formed the accumulation of moments that the audience grows with the number of slogans like ” death to Dictator” fresh ears.

 

Syndicate Workers of Tehran Bus Company Demand Release of Imprisoned Member Reza Shahabi

Posted on: July 28th, 2010

HRANA-The Syndicate Workers of Tehran Bus Company released a statement demanding the immediate release of imprisoned labor association board member Reza Shahabi.

According to the statement Reza Shahabi was arrested on June 12, 2009. He has had three phone conversations with his family since his arrest however they have not heard from him in over two weeks. The Syndicate Workers of Tehran Bus Company report that repeated inquiries by Reza Shahabi’s family and lawyer have gone unanswered by the prosecutors office and the revolutionary court. There is no word regarding the fate of Reza Shahabi at this time.

Lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei Questioned About his Activities to Save the Lives of Minors on Death Row

Posted on: July 24th, 2010

HRANA- Mohammad Mostafaei, lawyer and children’s rights acvitist, was summoned by the second branch of the prosecutor’s office in Evin Prison this morning.

Mohammad Mostafaei explained the reasons for the summons on his website. He was questioned about the nature of his assistance to child offenders currently on death row. Additionally, he was questioned about a bank account used to pay blood money to the victim’s families.

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Security and Intelligence Forces Exerting Pressure on Tabriz Grand Bazaar Shopkeepers

Posted on: July 16th, 2010

HRANA- Security forces are exerting pressure on bazaar business owners and shopkeepers to end their strike.
Security and intelligence forces in the city of Tabriz began contacting bazaar shopkeepers in an effort to prevent the strike from spreading throughout the Grand Bazaar of Tabriz.


According to Daneshjoo News, over the last three days as the entire bazaar remained
on strike, security and intelligence forces have begun a campaign of intimidation.
It is worthy to note that over the past several days plain clothed agents have gone to the homes of several trade guild leaders threatening of consequences if they continue their strike.
After the start of strikes in Bazaar Tehran, Bazaar Tabriz joined the strike in solidarity with Tehran and to protest the widespread arrest of activists in the province of Azarbijan.