Friday , 19 July 2024

Iranian Union Activist Still In Jail After Completing Term

RFL/RE – Jafar Ebrahimi, a prominent Iranian teacher and union activist, has not been released from prison despite serving the whole jail term he was sentenced to for organizing teachers’ protests, the Iranian Teachers’ Union’s Coordination Council reported on Telegram.

Teacher and union activist Jafar Ebrahimi (file photo)

Ebrahimi was arrested in 2022, along with several other union activists, and was handed a two-year jail sentence for illegal assembly, collusion, and propaganda against Iran.

Ebrahimi, along with Rasul Bodaghi, Ali Akbar Baghani, and Mohammad Habibi, all union activists, were accused of coordinating teachers’ protests with French teachers’ union official Cecile Kohler and her partner, Jacques Paris.

Iranian officials have accused the French couple of “entering the country to sow chaos and destabilize society.”SEE ALSO:France Slams Iran After Video Appears To Show ‘Forced Confession’

The arrests of the French nationals were largely seen as an attempt to discredit the Iranian teachers’ rallies and increase pressure on the teachers’ union to stop the protests.

Ebrahimi completed his term and was expecting to be released on March 20. But Iranian authorities ruled to keep him in prison to compensate for medical leave during his imprisonment, the Council said on Telegram.

Ebrahimi’s health has reportedly deteriorated significantly during his imprisonment, with his lawyer, Erfan Karamveisi, saying his client, who suffers from diabetes, risked becoming blind.

Ebrahimi said in a November 2022 letter that after he was transferred from Tehran’s infamous Evin prison to hospital due to illness, authorities chained him to the hospital bed for 12 days and denied him access to his lawyer and family.

Ebrahimi is not the only detainee who has been kept behind bars beyond his sentence.

Upon completing a 15-year sentence, political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared discovered that her jail term had been extended by two years due to new charges filed against her.

She has been in prison since December 2009, and sentenced in 2010 to 15 years for her support of an exiled opposition group. She is one of the longest-serving political prisoners in Iran.

Legal pretexts, including fresh charges, are employed by Iranian authorities to keep political and civil activists behind bars for extended periods.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda