The Iranian Teachers Association issued a statement on May 28 protesting the arrest of executive member Ali Akbar Baghbani for criticizing the government’s reaction to teacher protests and demands.
The association writes that “oppressive government institutions” are trying to stifle teachers’ protests by arresting activists and enforcing severe restrictions. The statement insists that the protests are rooted in “a serious dissatisfaction with the “discriminatory treatment of teachers compared to other government employees”.
The teachers are demanding pay increases that would put their wages in line with those of other government employees.
The widespread protests have not been welcomed by the government, and in some cities a number of teachers and more prominent protest figures have been arrested.
The statement calls on the government to start responding to the protests by addressing their “legitimate demands” rather than taking a contentious stance.
The ministry of education reported this week that it has requested a general pardon for all teachers behind bars in the country.