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.”
‘Why was my child shot?’
One student in his senior year of high school from Mashhad, Abolfazl Adinezade, was killed after allegedly being shot with pellets by security forces on October 8, a separate statement by the CCITTA said.
In a video shared on activist social media groups on Monday, a man who said he was Adinezade’s father said that his son was killed after being shot with 24 pellets to the abdomen.
“Why was my child shot? You shot him 24 times in the stomach,” the father said.
Adinezade was allegedly shot in front of Ferdowsi University in Mashhad and transferred to the hospital where he died an hour later, a separate statement by the CCITTA said.
In several videos shared by activist groups on Telegram on the day Adinezade was allegedly shot, young protesters were seen protesting near the Ferdowsi university in Mashhad. In several other videos people were seen clashing with the police. It is unclear if Adinezade was protesting during these clashes.
BBC reported that members of his family were told not to speak to the media, and that plainclothes security personnel were present at his funeral, according to multiple unnamed sources.
Amnesty International reported last week 23 children had been killed between 20 September and 30 September as a result of “unlawful force” used by security forces against protesters during that time.
The victims, according to Amnesty, ”included 20 boys aged between 11 and 17; and three girls, two of whom were 16 years old and one 17 years old.”
”Two boys died after being shot with metal pellets at close range, while three girls and a boy died after fatal beatings by security forces,” the Amnesty report said.
CNN cannot independently verify the death toll.