NEU letter of protest to Iranian Ambassador on the arrest of teacher trade union leader

H.E. Mr. Mohsen Baharvand


Islamic Republic of Iran

16 Prince’s Gate
London SW7 1PT

By email:

28 January 2022

Your Excellency,

We write as Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union (NEU), the largest education union in the UK. The NEU notes with deep concern the sudden arrest and detention on 19 January of Mr. Mohammad Taghi Fallahi, the General Secretary of the Iranian Teacher’s Trade Association (ITTA) in Tehran, by the security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We understand that Mr. Fallahi is being held in Evin Prison in Tehran.

Mr Fallahi’s arrest appears to coincide with the campaign of strikes and public protests waged by the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations (CCITTA) since early-December 2021 in defence of jobs, pay, conditions of service, and the future of the state education sector in Iran.

The right to protest, to form and join a trade union and to take collective action as trade unionists in pursuit of improved working conditions are fundamental human rights. As an organisation committed to trade union and human rights, the NEU calls for the release of Mr Fallahi and all other trade union leaders in Iran who have been arrested for pursuing legitimate trade union activities.

We call on the Iranian authorities to guarantee the rights of teachers and education workers to organise, and to freedom of association and freedom of speech including the right to peaceful assembly, without fear of arrest, harassment or victimisation of themselves or their families.   

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