Protesting Iranian teachers attacked by security forces in Tehran

Iranian teachers have been protesting for months, demanding a raise in their salaries.

2019 Iranian fuel protests.  (photo credit: MEHR NEWS AGENCY)
2019 Iranian fuel protests.
(photo credit: MEHR NEWS AGENCY)

Iranian teachers protesting in front of the Iranian parliament on Monday were attacked by security forces as they demonstrated against the violent arrest of a teacher on Saturday, according to Radio Farda.

Video shared on Twitter reportedly from the scene showed protesters struggling against security forces.

Teachers in Iran have gone on strike in recent days and have been protesting over the past few months demanding that the government implement the "80% ranking plan," which would require teachers' wages to be at least 80% that of faculty members.

On Saturday, the Coordinating Council of Iranian Cultural Associations, which is organizing the protests, announced that Rasoul Badaghi, a teacher union activist, was violently arrested at his home by security forces who beat him and confiscated all means of communication. No reason was given for his arrest.

 Students and their teacher wear protective gear to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in a classroom at Al-Mahdi School in Tehran (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS) Students and their teacher wear protective gear to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in a classroom at Al-Mahdi School in Tehran (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS)

Badaghi has been imprisoned in the past, including during protests in 2009 after presidential elections in the country.

A statement issued on a Telegram channel associated with the Coordinating Council of Iranian Cultural Associations which is supporting the teachers' protests, expressed outrage that the budgets of the military and other institutions have multiplied while the budget for teachers and "the livelihoods of the majority of society, including cultural figures, have been neglected."

Teacher protests also took place in Shiraz, Yazd, Khuzestan and Bushehr, among dozens of other towns and cities throughout the country, according to a Telegram channel. Video and photos from the protests showed large crowds in many cities marching and protesting.

The statement added that the government was showing "no will" to solve the issues. The union warned that if officials thought that the arrest of Badaghi and the trial, beating and imprisonment of other activists would stop their demands, "they are sorely mistaken."

The teachers' protests come just weeks after Iranian security forces violently repressed peaceful protests by farmers in Isfahan amid a severe water shortage. A number of protesters were reportedly killed in the crackdown by authorities.