(August 2015) Mahmood Beheshti Langeroodi, 55, has 25 years of experience serving the education department, and is the spokesman and a member of the Iran Teachers Guild Center executive board. During the past 11 years he has been arrested time and again for his guild activities. One day prior to his arrest this senior member of the Center attended a joint session held by the Teachers Guild Union and Iranian Vice President Mohammad Bagher Nobakht and presented reports of teachers’ difficulties. His very short court trial was held behind closed doors, lasting only a few minutes. He was given only 5 minutes to defend himself and thus sentenced to 14 years behind bars under three different charges.
Charge: Assembly and collusion against national security, propaganda against the state
The arrest of the former Iran Teachers Guild Center spokesman took place six days after the arrest of two other members of this center by the names of Mohammad Reza Niknezhad and Mehdi Bahluli.
These two individuals are amongst the younger and yet more active members of the “Teachers Guild Center”. They played important roles in the past few months after the arrest of the more senior members.
The “Teachers Guild Center” (early August 2015) issued a statement condemning the arrest of its members and describing the government of Hassan Rouhani “similar to its predecessors”, that failed to “act based on their very boasted mantras and not bringing about fundamental developments in any of their problem-riddled institutions.”
Prior to this he had launched hunger strikes in September and November 2015 protesting his ruling. On one occasion he went on a dry hunger strike for six days, and on the next occasion he was on hunger strike for 20 days. On the first occasion he was promised medical care, and after the second hunger strike he was given leave from prison. In response he ended his hunger strike and returned to prison after seeing his family for a few days.
He launched his third hunger strike on April 20, 2016. From May 2, 2016 he went on a dry hunger strike. On May 3rd 2016 Evin Prison physicians sent him to Tehran’s Taleghani Hospital. However, the prison guards – under orders from Major Rafie – prevented his wife and children from seeing him. In response Langroodi refused to see the physician and returned to prison. The Teachers Guild Center wrote, “The life of this imprisoned teacher is in danger.”
Once again he became very ill, suffered internal bladder bleeding and was transferred to a hospital. Due to his deteriorating illness he was released from prison on May 11, 2016 after a hunger strike lasting 22 days.
– The family of Mahmoud Beheshti, wife and children went on hunger strike along with him for two days starting May 2, 2016.
– 597 Teachers from various cities issued a statement and went on hunger strike for two days in solidarity with imprisoned teachers.
– Four political prisoners (Ali Moezi, Afsheen Baimani, Hassan Sadeghi and Hossein Rafie) went on hunger strike in support of teachers’ demands.
Reasons for his hunger strike: protesting intense security rulings for guild activists (teachers and workers)
Protesting long-term ruling: 14 years in prison – public court request with a jury and legal lawyer