The head of Iran’s Teachers’ Association, Esmail Abdi, who had been in jail since last July and was sentenced to six years in jail, was released on Saturday.

Esmail Abdi

Esmail Abdi

The Teachers’ Rights website reports that Abdi was released from Evin Prison on May 14 on bail until the finalization of his sentence by the appellate court.

Abdi was banned from travelling abroad last July and was stopped at the airport on his way to Armenia to take part in an international Teachers’ Conference. Later, in March of 2016, he was sentenced to six years in jail for propaganda against the regime and acting against national security.

Two weeks ago, Ismail Abdi and Jafar Azimzadeh, another jailed labour activist announced in a statement on the occasion of International Workers’ Day that they would begin a hunger strike to protest the government’s hostility toward labour activities, the inadequacy of teachers’ wages and the refusal of the authorities to allow independent labour organizations to mark May Day and World Teachers’ Day.

Abdi was also arrested in 2011 for his labour activities and sentenced to 10 years in jail, which was later changed to a suspended sentence.

Three days ago, Mahmoud Beheshti Langaroodi, the spokesman for the Teachers’ Association, was also released from Evin Prison, having begun a hunger strike to protest the judicial process of his charges and his nine-year sentence as unjust.