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NEA condemns execution of Iranian teacher


WASHINGTON - May 17, 2010 -

The National Education Association (NEA) joins Education International (EI) in condemning the May 9 execution of Farzad Kamangar, an Iranian teacher and member of the Teachers’ Trade Association of Kurdistan.

The Iranian government had arrested Kamangar in 2006 for “endangering national security” and “enmity against God.” After a trial that lasted five minutes, at which he was prohibited from speaking, Kamangar was sentenced to death. Since that time, he had been held in various detention centers around the country and repeatedly tortured.

“On behalf of the NEA’s 3.2 million members, I want to express our grief and outrage over the execution of Farzad Kamangar as well as our deep concern over the fate of other imprisoned Iranian teachers and union activists,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, who sent a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
condemning the execution. “This action is an outrage—for teachers, union activists, and human rights advocates around the world.”

NEA, a founding member of Education International, has joined in calling for a transparent investigation into the execution of Kamangar, a halt to further executions, and a call for fair and open trials.  Throughout the Iranian teacher’s  imprisonment, NEA and Education International affiliates sent numerous letters and requests for his release.  Despite the worldwide appeals, Kamangar was executed in secret, along with four other Iranian Kurds.

As a tribute to Kamangar, NEA will continue to work with Education International and its affiliates in a campaign to support Iranian teachers and union activists currently in prison.

A representative from the Co-Coordinating Council of Iranian Teacher Trade Associations said that during his imprisonment, Kamangar was aware of and deeply appreciative of the support from teachers around the world.

“I wish you could feel how unique a teacher he was,” the representative said.” It was the only reason of his execution. They were afraid of his personality, afraid he would become a hero.”

To read President Van Roekel’s letter to Iranian President Ahmadinejad

EI Urgent Action Appeal link
http://www.ei-ie.org/en/urgentactionappeal/show.php?id=12&country=iran

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

 

CONTACT: Anita Merina (202) 822-7289, amerina@nea.org