Teachers demonstrating for higher pay in front of parliament last month (Courtesy Photo)
April 18, 2007 -- Members of the Iranian parliament have protested against widespread arrests of teachers and students.
Sixteen lawmakers today called on police and security forces to respect the "legal and professional rights" of teachers and students.
Dozens of student activists and teachers who had demonstrated for a salary increase have reportedly been detained in Iran over the past weeks. Some of them have been released.
ISNA news agency reports that the teachers' arrests have forced the closure of several schools in the northwestern and northern provinces of Hamedan and Mazandaran.
Human rights groups have criticized the Iranian government for detaining and summoning the teachers and students.
Prominent Iranian activist Mahboubeh Abbass-Gholizadeh tells RFE/RL that the protests of women's rights advocates can and do have an effect on the government's policies. But much remains to be done. more