Security and law-enforcement agents, some dressed as plain-clothesmen on Sunday beat up about 200 teachers who had gathered in front of the Ministry of Education to declare their work-related demands, dispersing meeting. The meeting is a culmination of protests organized and held by teachers across Iran, which also included a refusal to teach in the classrooms.
Last Sunday, a group of about 200 teachers gathered in front of the ministry building to air their demands. As their numbers grew, they asked for a meeting with ministry officials, particularly the Minister of Education Ali Ahmadi. But plain-clothesmen and other law-enforcement agents who had also gathered from earlier hours in the vicinity intervened and asked the protestors to break up and leave the area. The teachers continued with their requests, which led to threats and finally violence.
As clashes began, 30 minutes into the gathering, teachers began a march as the whole event was being filmed by different individuals. The police followed them in pursuit. Eventually, this led to physical clashes between the two groups in which many teachers were hurt. Among them was Mahmud Beheshti Langaroodi and Baghani, the leaders of the group called Center for Teachers Guild. The police arrested some of the protestors and led them away, only to release them at a later time, except for “Bedaghi”, a member of the guild.
Despite the violence and the dispersion of the protesting teachers, the law enforcement forces remained in the area for hours later, until about 3pm. These forces were flanked by plain-clothes agents who carried communication radios.
Speaking about the protests and the clashes that ensued, one guild member said, “We will certainly respond to this, the specifics of which we will know once we speak to others in the provinces.”
Reports indicate that similar protests and gatherings were held in front of provincial ministry of education buildings, which also led to clashes with the police.