An observation tower in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz

Concerns Mount for Lives Of Imprisoned Teachers In Iran

Sunday, 01/21/2024

Over 2,300 teachers and citizens in Iran have expressed concern for the well-being of two teachers currently held in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Iraj Rahnama and Gholamreza Gholami, serving as teachers in Fars Province, have embarked on a hunger strike since January 13 to protest the sentences handed down to them.

They were sentenced to five and eleven years in prison, respectively, by Branch 37 of the Fars Province Appeals Court in December.

In addition to their prison terms, they received "supplementary penalties," including a two-year travel ban resulting in passport cancellation and a two-year ban on online activities.

Furthermore, Gholami has been subjected to an additional penalty of two years of exile in Birjand, northeast of Iran.

The statement said, "The physical and age-related conditions of the two prisoners, combined with the substantial and irreversible risks of their hunger strike, have deeply worried their families, fellow activists, and the entire community."

In recent decades, numerous political prisoners in Iran, especially those undertaking hunger strikes in protest, have faced various health issues and serious injuries, with some losing their lives.

While the government's longstanding history of pressure and efforts to suppress teachers and activists persist over the past two decades, recent years have witnessed a significant surge in the detention of teachers and the imposition of severe prison sentences upon them.

For years, Iranian educators have been advocating for increased salaries and pensions, being among the lowest-paid segments of government employees. Additionally, they have voiced their opposition to the poisoning of schoolgirls, a crisis that emerged in Iran last year, impacting numerous educational institutions and affecting thousands of students.

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