More than 200 protesting teachers arrested in Iran: NCRI

More than 200 teachers were arrested on Wednesday during a protest outside the parliament in Tehran demanding the release of their colleagues from jail, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said on Wednesday

A report by AFP said: “Authorities launched a crackdown after over 2,000 teachers from across Iran gathered outside parliament carrying placards and chanting ‘Free those arrested,’ the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said.”

“Anti-riot police on motorbikes roamed the streets and there was a heavy security presence in metro stations, the group of Iranian pro-democracy activists in exile said in a statement.”

“The number of those arrested in today’s teachers’ protest gathering in Tehran has reached 200, ” it said.

“The suppressive forces employed provisions to disperse the teachers, including by conducting attacks on the gathering… However, the freedom-loving teachers fought (them) off to again form their gathering.”

“Protesters had gathered demanding the release of political activists such as Esmael Abdi, the head of the teachers’ union, who are ‘imprisoned for their defence of teachers’ rights,’ the group said.

The NCRI is a coalition of Iranian opposition groups, including the popular People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, PMOI (Mujaheddin-e Khalq or MEK).

Meanwhile, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, hailed ‘the freedom-loving and courageous teachers who staged a protest gathering in front of the parliament building on Wednesday’

She praised their resolve and perseverance in the past year as they have staged several series of nationwide protests and strikes.

“The hasty rush of the suppressive forces to confront and prevent the gathering by arresting our teacher sisters and brothers betrays the feebleness of the velayat-e faqih regime, especially following its forced retreat from the anti-popular nuclear projects,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi reminded that the corrupt and plundering dictatorship of the mullahs that spends the assets of the Iranian nation on suppression, instigation of crises, export of terrorism, and the nuclear projects, as well as the government of the deceptive mullah Hassan Rouhani who deferred everything until the time that the nuclear deal is signed, now has nothing to offer but to suppress the rightful demands of over one million teachers who merely demand freedom, minimum wages, and their social status.

Maryam Rajavi called on all Iranians, especially the youth, the pupils and the students of the country, to show solidarity with the freedom-loving teachers. “The anti-human regime of velayat-e faqih, along with all its factions, that kowtowed regarding its nuclear program out of the pressure from public protests and popular disenchantment, will surely face defeat and be toppled by the protest movement of teachers, laborers, students and the popular resistance of the Iranian nation in search of freedom and democracy,” she stressed.