By Celine Alkhaldi and Adam Pourahmadi, CNN
CNN — A teachers’ union in Iran called for a nationwide teacher strike in protest over the recent deaths and detention of students in the country, the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations (CCITTA) said in a statement on Telegram on Thursday.
The council announced a period of public mourning over the deaths of students in recent weeks from Thursday through Saturday, and called for a “sit-in” on Sunday and Monday.
“We know very well that the military, security and private forces are invading the privacy of schools and educational spaces. During this systematic repression, they have cruelly taken the lives of a number of students and children in the most cruel way,” the statement said.
“Rulers should know that the community of Iranian teachers do not tolerate these atrocities and brutality,” the statement added.
Anti-government protests have gripped Iran, galvanized by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being pulled off the streets of Tehran by morality police and taken to a “re-education center” for lessons in modesty.
The current movement, led and inspired by women, has united Iranians across generations, in what is shaping up to be the biggest threat the regime has faced to date.
Videos shared to social media in recent weeks show school children protesting against the Iranian government in classrooms and on the streets, chanting anti-government slogans and waving their mandatory hijab in some cases.
A Norway-based Iran-focused rights group, Iran Human Rights said on Monday that 27 children had been killed in the protests which began in September. They added that “the actual number of those killed is certainly higher which the organization continues to investigate.”
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‘Why was my child shot?’
Abolfazl Adinezade, a Mashhad high school senior, allegedly died on October 8 after being shot with pellets by security personnel, according to a separate statement from the CCITTA.
In a video posted on activist social media sites on Monday, a man claiming to be Adinezade’s father claimed that his son was shot 24 times in the abdomen, killing him.
“My child was shot; why? The father said, “You shot him 24 times in the stomach.
According to a different statement by the CCITTA, Adinezade was allegedly shot in front of Ferdowsi University in Mashhad and taken to the hospital, where he passed away an hour later.
On the day Adinezade is said to have been shot, activist groups posted a number of videos of young protesters demonstrating close to Mashhad’s Ferdowsi University. Other videos showed people squabbling with the police. Adinezade may have been protesting during these clashes, but it is unclear.
According to numerous unnamed sources cited by the BBC, his family members were instructed not to speak to the media, and plainclothes security personnel were present at his funeral.
Amnesty International reported last week that 23 children had died as a result of “illegal force” applied by security forces against protesters between September 20 and September 30.
Amnesty International reports that the victims “included 20 boys between the ages of 11 and 17; and three girls, two of whom were 16 years old and one of whom was 17 years old.”
According to the Amnesty report, “three girls and a boy died after fatal beatings by security forces, while two boys died after being shot with metal pellets at close range.”
The death toll cannot be independently verified by CNN.
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