Britain Union of Teachers Demands Abdi’s Freedom

News has reached us in recent days of the re-arrest and detention of the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Association, Mr Esmail Abdi as a result of his legitimate trade union activities.

I write on behalf of National Union of Teachers to express our grave concern at the treatment of Mr Abdi – his arrest and the nature of the allegations against him.

NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS HEADQUARTERS
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9BD
Telephone 020 7388 6191
Fax 020 7387 8458
www.teachers.org.uk

To: President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
VIA EMAIL: rouhani@csr.ir ; media@rouhani.ir; info_leader@leader.ir ; fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk

08 July 2015

Dear President Rouhani

REQUEST FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE IRANIAN TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION, MR ESMAIL ABDI

News has reached us in recent days of the re-arrest and detention of the General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Association, Mr Esmail Abdi as a result of his legitimate trade union activities.

I write on behalf of National Union of Teachers to express our grave concern at the treatment of Mr Abdi – his arrest and the nature of the allegations against him.

According to reports that we have received, Mr Abdi was taken into custody on 27 June after he had been prevented from traveling to Armenia to obtain a travel visa to participate in Education International’s (EI) 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, from 21 – 26 July. We have also learned that after Mr. Abdi’s passport had been confiscated at the border, he was instructed to return to Tehran to meet with the prosecutors’ office. After having reported to the prosecutors’ office he was arrested.

We believe that Mr Abdi’s detention and your government’s efforts to prevent him from attending EI’s 7th World Congress represents infringements of various international human rights’ conventions, including International Labour Organisation convention 87 guarantees freedom of association and convention 98 the right to collective bargaining.

By preventing an EI Congress delegate from attending the meeting of its governing body, your government is also obstructing the democratic functioning of our global union federation.

We remain vigilant of the situation in Iran and more so of the treatment of workers and trade unionist.

In the case of Mr Abdi, there appear to be no other grounds for his arrest and the 10 year jail sentence now imposed on him, other than the fact of his trade union activity. This is activity which he should be able legitimately to pursue. We therefore call upon your government to take immediate action to secure his release. We also call upon your government to release all teachers currently imprisoned in Iran on the basis of their trade union activities.

I trust that you will give this matter your most urgent consideration.

I look forward to an early reply. Yours sincerely,

Christine Blower
General Secretary

cc His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
info_leader@leader.ir ;
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk

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