Protest in Iran: Teachers call for nationwide strike over student deaths and arrests



CNN

An Iranian teachers’ union has called for a nationwide teachers’ strike to protest the recent deaths and arrests of students in the country, the Coordination Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations (CCITTA) said in a Telegram statement on Thursday.

The council announced public mourning for the deaths of the students in recent weeks from Thursday to Saturday, and called for a “sit-in” on Sunday and Monday.

“We know very well that military, security and private forces are invading the privacy of schools and educational spaces. In this systematic repression, in the cruelest way, the lives of many students and children have been cruelly taken,” the statement says.

“The authorities should know that the Iranian teaching community does not support these atrocities and brutalities,” the statement added.

Anti-government protests have gripped Iran, fueled by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being taken off the streets of Tehran by morality police and taken to a “re-education center” for modesty lessons. .

The current movement, led and inspired by women, has united generations of Iranians in what will be the biggest threat the regime has yet faced.

In videos shared on social media in recent weeks, schoolchildren have been protesting the Iranian government in classrooms and on the streets, chanting anti-government slogans and in some cases waving the mandatory hijab.

Iran Human Rights, an Iran-based rights group based in Norway, said on Monday that 27 children had been killed in protests that began in September. They added that “the actual death toll, which the organization continues to investigate, is undoubtedly higher.”

A senior high school student in Mashhad, Abolfazl Adinezade, died on October 8 after security forces allegedly fired bullets, CCITTA reported.

In a video shared on activist social media groups on Monday, a man who claimed to be Adinezade’s father said his son was killed after being shot in the stomach with 24 rounds.

“Why did they shoot my baby? You shot him 24 times in the stomach,” said the father.

Adinezade was reportedly shot in front of Ferdowsi University in Mashhad and was taken to hospital where she died an hour later, CCITTA reported.

On the day Adinezade was reportedly shot, several videos shared by activist groups on Telegram showed young protesters protesting near Ferdowsi University in Mashhad. In several other videos, people were seen fighting with the police. It is not clear whether Adinezade protested during these clashes.

The BBC reported that members of his family had been told not to speak to the media, and plainclothes security personnel were present at his funeral, according to multiple unnamed sources.

Amnesty International reported last week that 23 children were killed between September 20 and September 30 as a result of “unlawful force” used by security forces against protesters.

The victims, according to Amnesty, “were 20 boys between 11 and 17 years old; and three girls, two of them 16 years old and one 17 years old”.

“Two boys died after being shot with metal pellets, while three girls and one boy were beaten by security forces,” says the Amnesty Movement.

CNN cannot independently verify the death toll.