The General Secretary of the Iranian teachers' union, Esmail Abdi has been detained after obeying instructions to report to the security services. He had previously been told he was subject to a travel ban, when he applied for a visa to attend the upcoming Education International congress in Canada.

When Mr Abdi realised that he was being prevented from travelling abroad, he wrote the following appeal: 'The situation in Iran is deteriorating and many educational activists are at risk of being arrested and imprisoned for many years. I implore you to write to Mr Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran, and the Attorney General, condemning the bans and the suppression and incarceration of teachers and activists in Iran.'

Mr Abdi had previously been given a ten year suspended sentence for his involvement in teachers' protests. As we have been reporting there has been a wave of teacher strikes and protests across the country in recent months, demanding proper funding for education and decent salaries. This action has taken place despite severe intimidation from the security forces. Mr Abdi himself was told that if he did not quit his post as head of the teachers union his long sentence would be imposed. His detention in the notorious Evin prison at this moment may be a confirmation of this threat, which is very worrying.

Go here to find out how to write to the President, demanding the end of the repression of teachers and their leaders.