Campaign for the release of imprisoned teacher trade unionists in Iran

World Teachers’ Day 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) that recognizes education as a key fundamental right and establishes an entitlement to free compulsory education, ensuring inclusive and equitable access for all children.
This year’s theme, “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher,” has been chosen to remind the global community that the right to education cannot be achieved without the right to trained and qualified teachers. Even today, a continuing challenge worldwide is the shortage of teachers. There are an estimated 264 million children and youth still out of school globally. To reach the 2030 Education Goals of universal primary and secondary education, the world needs to recruit almost 69 million new teachers. This ‘teacher gap’ is more pronounced among vulnerable populations, such as girls, children with disabilities, refugee and migrant children, or poor children living in rural or remote areas.
Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. It is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, UNDP, the International Labour Organization, and Education International.
On Friday 5 October, World Teachers’ Day, take a few second and call for the release of Esmail Abdi, the leader of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association, who is spending six years in prison solely for daring to call for improving the education system and for fair treatment of teachers in Iran. Please see the appeal. Please circulate this appeal to all your friends on the facebook and twitter. 
Thank you.

Free Esmail Abdi

Esmail Abdi, teacher and leader of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) , was arrested in June 2015 while trying to attend the Education International (EI) 8th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada.

His trail was grossly unfair: he was denied access to a lawyer of his choice during the entire investigation, his lawyer was not allowed to review his court file before the trial, and he was sentenced to six years in the notorious Evin prison where he was kept in solitary confinement simply for exercising his human and trade union right to free speech.

His real crime is that he is a determined advocate of human rights, equality and justice and fights for the right of children and young people to have access to free, quality public education and for teachers to organise independently into unions of their choosing in a democratic Iran.

In April 2018, Esmail went on hunger strike to protest his arrest and that of other teachers and human rights defenders and supporters. His health continues to deteriorate. He needs our solidarity.

What you can do

  • Email Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Head of the Judiciary Sadegh Larijani to call for Esmail’s immediate release using the template we’ve set up on the right/below.
  • Share the petition by emailing it to your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Share your concerns on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #freeEsmail using the soocial media buttons at the top of the page.

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