Teachers in Iran have taken to the streets again this week to demand an end to the victimisation and repression of teachers. In particular they are calling for the release of seven teacher leaders and activists who have been imprisoned for exercising their democratic right to protest and organise.

Teachers are also fighting the poverty suffered by both them and their students. At one of the many marches taking place in towns across the country, one teacher held a placard which said: 'I am a student. I am hungry.' Another pointed out that a teacher's salary was way below the poverty line. Teachers in the country can earn as little as $100 a month. Many banners also called for an end to discrimination - the many Afghan refugee children in Iran often suffer discrimination, including in schools. 

As we reported last week, the Iranian government did everything it could to stop the teachers from taking action, including arresting and harrassing activists in the run up to the start of the new school year last month. On October 7th, 14 teachers were arrested for planning to take part in a protest the next day and warned that they would be detained again if they took part. One photographer was arrested for taking photographs of the protest in the capital Tehran and many plain clotes security agents were among the crowd, as well as uniformed motor cycle anti-riot police. Similar security presences were in evidence all over the country where the protests were taking place.

Education International is calling for the immediate release of the imprisoned teachers.