The punishment and intimidation of students for joining peaceful protests is a serious violation of academic freedom. Students are being given a clear message: remain silent, or risk being kicked out of school. [Updated 14 Dec 2010]
In the wake of mass protests against the elections that took place on 12 June 2009, which supporters of Reformist leader Mir-Hossien Mousavi claim were rigged against him, students, journalists, women’s rights and other political activists have been crudely denied many of their civil and human rights. Students have been particularly targeted by increased presence of security forces on campuses; threats; summons to disciplinary committees; interrogations; arrests; exclusion from campus; expulsion/suspension from studies.
Violations of basic rights have increased since the November 4, 2009 protests. [November 4 was the date on which Iranian students and militants took over the American embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking hostages from among its workers. The day is celebrated in Iran annually as "Anti-Imperialism Day". This year, Reformist activists turned the occasion into a day of protest against all that has happened since the presidential elections.]
December 7 is Student Day at all Iranian universities. This year, student activists decided to use the occasion to stage anti-regime protests on campuses all over Iran. (See below for details)
University disciplinary committees (komiteh enzebati) throughout Iran are holding hearings of students allegedly involved in pro-reform protests. The committees have suspended some students for one or more semesters and expelled others.
The university disciplinary committees, which predate the 1979 revolution, were originally created to address purely academic concerns such as cheating or disputes over school credits. However, the committees are increasingly playing an intrusive political role.
"The punishment and intimidation of students for joining peaceful protests is a serious violation of academic freedom," said Joe Stork, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. "Students are being given a clear message: remain silent, or risk being kicked out of school" (Sept. 30, 2003, HRW website).
Examples follow (note: most of the links are to Persian sites):
1. Mass interrogation of students continues – Human rights activists are reporting mass summons and interrogations of students across Iran since Student Day (Dec. 7). In the past 24 hours, over thirty students from Khajeh Nasir University have been called in for questioning. Even before Student Day, the University Guard had prohibited twenty student activists from entering the campus, even threatening the families of the students to prevent them from participating in the protest rallies.
2. Reformist lecturer fired – In line with the continuing pressure on academics and the layoff of lecturers identified with the reformist movement, literature and linguistics lecturer Morteza Falah of Yadz University has reportedly been fired. Falah, who is identified with the reformist movement, has published numerous books and articles on literature and on the Farsi language, and is a veteran journalist who served as Editor in Chief of the banned newspaper Eghbal.
• Widespread arrests of students following Student Day events – Following the December 7 Student Day events, several dozen student activists from Shiraz University were detained at the local Intelligence Detention Center. Some of the students have been released, but others are still being held, among them prominent activists and members of the student union.
• According to a report of the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, students from Mazandaran University were one of the groups that suffered the most repression during the election events. Iranian security personnel used intimidation and suspension from studies to silence their protest. The current number of student activists who have been arrested or suspended is 82. Cumulative punishments of students at Mazandaran University: 28 years imprisonment, 22 years suspension from studies, 9 cases of expulsion from university and 268 lashes.
Student Day – December 7
This week Iran marked National Student Day (December 7, or Azar 16 on the Persian calendar), which is an annual source of tension and confrontations between those who want change and the regime, which has been on the defensive ever since the controversial presidential election in June 2009. While the flames of protest have been lowered and contained, they have not been quenched completely.
On the eve of Student Day, students in various universities around Iran published posters and statements criticizing the regime, although those have mainly called to release imprisoned students and professors, rather than expressing criticism of the regime’s policies regarding the student sector and its intention to limit the teaching of subjects that it sees as being against "Islamic spirit," especially in the Humanities and Social Studies.
The regime’s preparations included, as before, reinforced security forces presence along the roads leading to universities and at university gates, as well as blocking cellular networks and issuing threats by various judiciary and security spokesmen that rioters "will be dealt with" in order to maintain order.
University professors issued a statement for National Students Day, complaining about the arrests of students and the "security atmosphere."
New report by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran explains the star system, in which students are barred from acceptance to degree-granting programs on the basis of their political beliefs: Systematic Discrimination and Exclusion in Iranian Higher Education
• Student sentenced to one year in prison and 74 lashes – Tehran University student Mojtaba Hashemi has been sentenced to one year in prison and 74 lashes for "acting against national security, disturbing the public order and insulting the Supreme Leader and the President."
• Student activist sentenced to six years – Nasim Soltan Beigi, a left-wing student activist, was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of propaganda against the regime and harming national security. She was arrested two years ago during a wave of arrests targeting student activists and held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison for 56 days.
Student activists arrested – Over the past few days, several student activists from universities across Iran have been arrested. In the past 24 hours, it has been reported that Mohammad Heydarzade, a member of the student union at Shahrekord University, and Mohsen Barzegar of Babol University were arrested by the local intelligence ministries in their cities.
Human rights activists report increased persecution and arrests of student activists, evidently prior to next month’s Students’ Day. Suspended student activist from Mazandaran Province, Hosseyn Parhizgar, and student activist from Mashhad, Ali Gholi-Zade, have reportedly been arrested. Both students had been previously detained in relation to election-related protests.
Rahnavard banned from entering Tehran University – Tehran University imposed a ban on Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s wife, forbidding her from entering the university despite the academic position she holds at the university’s faculty of arts. Tehran University said the ban had been imposed upon the demand of Basij-member students.
Two student-activists expelled from university – Arsalan Sadeghi and Maziar Masooli, two leftist student-activists, were expelled from the Isfahan University. Their expulsion was carried out upon direct order from the local Intelligence Ministry headquarters.
Interrupted Lives – Exhibition at Georgetown University on repression of students since 1979 and up to today
• New students forced to attend workshop on Islamic dress code – Some thousand new female students and 900 male ones had to attend a workshop at Shiraz University about “modesty and Islamic dress code”. The workshop included subjects such as “modesty and dress code in the Quran,” "personal and social implications of modest clothing," "the damages of the Western Culture and Feminism" and so forth.
• Lecturer expelled from university for criticizing regime’s violence – A professor of Mathematics from Cherman University in Ahvaz lost his job at the university following critical remarks he made about the Iranian regime’s violence against citizens. The professor was also accused of desecrating Islam, saying that there were flaws in the Quran and that some of its verses were borrowed from Judaism.
Top MA student of Social Science expelled from university – Farzane Jalali, a summa cum laude MA student in Social Science, was expelled from university due to her social and political activity. She was told during the hearing on her case that the Intelligence Ministry disapproved the continuance of her studies. Jalali was a member of the students’ union and a past editor-in-charge of the Tehran University’s students’ periodical.
Record number (73) of students in prison for political activity – The Daneshjoo News website published the names of 73 imprisoned students, stressing that this number was the highest in decades. Amir Rashidi, a student opposition leader in Iran, told Radio Farda, “The regime is trying to control the situation in the universities by using military tactics. The regime has found out that simply trying to control the atmosphere in universities is useless, and that they have to respond to any opposition from students with an iron fist.”
1. Another layoff of Tehran University lecturer – The president of Tehran University ordered the removal of Dr. Abbas Khatemi from his position as member of the social science faculty’s scientific committee. This is another step in the wave of politically motivated layoffs, or forced retirements, imposed on university lecturers throughout Iran, which started shortly after the contested 2009 presidential elections and targets lecturers who do not adhere to the Government’s conservative ideology.
2. Militiamen abduct student-activist near campus – Habib Farahzadi, a student-activist who had been suspended from his studies, was attacked by plainclothes militiamen and forced into a car that took him to an unknown place. Farahzadi arrived at the campus to re-register after a three-term suspension due to his participation in protest demonstrations. He was abducted by the plainclothes militiamen as he left the campus.
3. Security service encourages students to snitch on their schoolmates – As the new school year begins in Iranian universities and institutes of higher education, students of Shahid Beheshti University found placards on behalf of the university’s security service calling them to inform the service about students who adhere to certain political ideologies or engage in political or social activities.
1. Suspended students sent to continue their studies in remote universities – The disciplinary committee of Islamic Azad University decided to send suspended students to continue their studies in remote campuses as part of the punishment imposed on them for engaging in political activities. One of these students is Mohammad Shurab, who was suspended from studies for two semesters, then banished to the campus in Ahvaz to complete his academic assignments. Armin Sharifi, who was suspended for one semester, was sent to the campus in Zanajan, and Hesam Nasiri was banished to the campus in Chaloos following one-term suspension.
a. Student-activist arrested – Eyoub Nemati, a student-activist from Tehran University, was arrested following his suspension from studies. His arrest seems to be part of an intensifying crackdown on student-activists from this university.
b. Appellate court approves harsh sentence imposed on Majid Tavakoli – The Iranian appellate court approved the harsh sentence that had been imposed on the student-activist Majid Tavakoli. Tavakoli is a prominent activist from Amirkabir University, who has come to the attention of the international public opinion ever since his arrest almost 10 months ago, on Iran’s Student Day (December 7, 2009), after delivering an anti-regime speech before students. Tavakoli vainly tried to disguise himself in women’s Islamic clothes to avoid the arrest.
Deferred prison sentence and ban on using cell phone – Hossein Ghabel, a student activist from the University of Mashhad who had been arrested during the post-election events, received a deferred sentence of one year in prison. In addition he was banned from using a cellular phone and participating in demonstrations for a period of four years. Ghabel is a past member of the student magazine’s editorial team. He was accused of propagating against the regime and defaming the Supreme Leader.
1. Reformist student sentenced to seven years – Yashar Darolshafa, former secretary of the Reformist Students’ Union at Imam Khomeini University in Qazvin, was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment allegedly for taking part in illegal demonstrations following the June 2009 presidential elections, propagating against the regime and compromising national security.
2. Tens of students interrogated and suspended – The disciplinary committee of the University of Science and Technology summoned tens of students who had taken part in a memorial service commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Kianosh Asa, one of the election events’ victims. The committee suspended at least eighteen of the service participants for one semester or more. Some of the students were summoned for further interrogation at the Intelligence Ministry.
Thirty-nine professors fired – The Reformist website Rah-e-Sabz reported that 39 professors from Tehran, Shahid Beheshti and Khajeh Nasir universities had been laid off.
31 May 2010
Students expelled for neglecting Islamic dress code – Dozens of students from Allameh Tabatabai University were summoned to disciplinary committees for violating Islamic dress code, and many of them have been expelled for the duration of 1-2 semesters.
1. Misaq Yazdan Nejad, an Iranian student who was arrested for participating in a ceremony held in Khavaran cemetery to commemorate the 1988 executions of political prisoners in Iran, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Yazdan Nejad was brutally tortured for six months during interrogations in the security ward of Evin prison, and now that he has been sentenced he will be transferred to Gohar Dasht prison in Karaj.
2. Allameh Tabatabai University allows officers to search students’ personal computers – A circular issued by the department of Student Affairs in Allameh Tabatabai University says that security officers have been allowed to search the personal computers and laptops of students living in the university dorms. The circular clarified that students are strictly forbidden to use their personal computers for "immoral" purposes or for downloading forbidden material. Human Rights activists assert that this instruction is in violation of the Iranian constitution, which stresses the need to respect citizens’ personal space.
Iran continues to dismiss prominent university professors on political grounds – After the dismissal of Dr. Morteza Mardiha from his faculty post at Allameh Tabatabaee University on 5 April 2010, two professors of the University of Science and Technology were also fired in what seems to be an ongoing process to dismiss faculty members who do not adhere to the Government’s views. The dismissals follow Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjoo’s March 4 statements, in which he announced that faculty members who do not “share the regime’s direction,” and who do not have “practical commitment to velayat-e-faqih (rule of the religious jurisprudent) will be dismissed”.
1. Detained student denied meeting with her family – Mitra Ali, an MA student from Sharif University, has not been allowed to meet her family ever since her legally questionable arrest 40 days ago. Mitra Ali is held in Ward no. 209 at Evin Prison. Since her arrest, Mitra Ali has been allowed to make only one short phone call to inform her family about her detention. Mitra Ali was the editor-in-chief of the currently banned periodical Simorq.
2. Students at Amirkabir University summoned to Disciplinary Committee, face suspension – Iranian human rights activists reported about more than 170 students at the Amirkabir University in Tehran who had been summoned to the university’s disciplinary committee since the beginning of the academic year. Five students have already been expelled from the university and forty others face suspension.
Iranian academic: Iranian universities must be purged of West-affiliated lecturers who serve as agents of Imperialism – The secretary of the Yazd University Lecturers Coordination Committee said universities and lecturers affiliated with the West served as a tool in the hands of Imperialism to enable its penetration into the country. He called upon the heads of the Iranian regime to purge the universities of secular lecturers and academics, and replace them with people of faith. Meanwhile, Reformist websites reported about the layoff of two senior lecturers at the University of Science and Technology, who expressed their support of the Green Movement and signed a petition against the entrance of Basij militiamen into the campus before the elections.
Student activist sentenced to 28 months – Mahdie Golro, a student activist arrested during post-election events, was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court to two years and four months of imprisonment, effective immediately. She had to defend herself, as she was denied contact with her attorney. Ms. Golro was also suspended from her studies. Ms. Golro was a member of the Iranian Right of Education Protection Council, and member of Mahdi Karroubi’s election HQ.
1. Shirin Qerche Daqi, a female student of Tehran University Medical School, was arrested by plainclothes agents near the university and taken to an unknown destination. Her family has no information regarding her whereabouts or condition.
2. RAHANA (Reporters and Human Rights Activists of Iran) reports that Mitra Ali, a graduate student at Sharif University, was detained by the Ministry of Intelligence on March 10 and her whereabouts are now unknown.
1. Minister threatens to remove all lecturers and students who do not adhere to the Vilayet-e-Faqih priciple – Kamran Daneshjoo, Iran’s Minister of Science and Higher Education, announced once again that all lecturers and students who did not adhere to the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist (Vilayet-e-Faqih) principle, which underlies the Islamic regime, would be fired or expelled from the academic institutes. He also ordered the universities not to hire lecturers who did not believe in the Vilayet-e-Faqih principle.
2. Student activist re-arrested – A group of plainclothes militiamen arrived late night at the house of the student activist Reza Lotfi from Mashhad and took him away by force. The militiamen did not identify themselves nor present any warrant. They confiscated Lotfi’s personal belongings, including his computer and cellular phone. Up until now, no authority has taken responsibility for the arrest, and Lotfi’s family has no information as to his whereabouts. Lotfi was arrested before, during the post-election protests, by the Intelligence Ministry and released on bail.
3. Zahedan students suspended – The disciplinary committee at the Open University in Zahedan suspended four students from their studies for one term and gave letters of warning to three others. The seven had been accused of disrupting public order and taking part in illegal demonstrations.
Ali Kantori, a left-wing student activist, who had been detained in the past in Evin Prison and re-arrested following the recent elections, was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court to 15 years in prison for propagating against the regime and compromising national security.
Fourteen students from Amirkabir University arrested – A tense atmosphere prevails at Amirkabir University, following the arrest of 14 prominent student activists by the Intelligence Ministry during the past week. Only one of the arrested was able to contact his family. He reported that he was held in Evin Prison. No information is available about the rest of the detainees.
More than seventy students of Isfahan University were summoned to the disciplinary committee for taking part in the Student Day protests. The committee imposed heavy punishments of long-term suspension on most of them, and expelled twenty medical students from the university.
The Association for Defending Political Prisoners’ Rights reported that security forces had arrested Jahangir Abdollahi, a Master Degree student in Political Science, at the gates of Tehran University. Abdollahi headed the Culture Committee of the Kurdish students in Tehran University.
Student activist to serve more than eight years in prison for calling Ahmadinejad “a fascist” and Khamene’i “a dictator” – The Revolutionary Court sentenced Majid Tavakoli, a member of the students’ union at the Amirkabir University of Technology, to eight years and a half in prison. The charges against Tavakoli included slandering the authorities, compromising national security, and propagating against the regime.
The Revolutionary Court imposed a sentence of three years in prison on Ali Parviz, a student of Computer Engineering from Khaje Nasir University. Parviz had been arrested during the post-election protests. He was accused of preparing and distributing films and images showing students’ demonstrations.
The disciplinary committee of the Imam Khomeini International University in Qazvin summoned tens of students for interrogation and imposed severe punishments on ten of them during the past 24 hours. A few of these ten students were expelled from university and barred from taking the admission exams for five years. Others were suspended for four terms.
1. Student activist Majid Dorri sentenced to 11 years in prison.
2. Tens of Ahvaz University students suspended – the Board of Discipline of Shahid Charman University, Ahvaz, suspended tens of student activists for two semesters. This severe punishment was probably meant to deter students from boycotting the examinations.
3. Government accused of “making excuses” to raid students’ dorms – Dissident and reformist sites responded to pro-government reports about a dramatic increase in so-called “Satanism” in the dorms. Dissident sites regarded it as “an excuse made by the government to raid the dorms".
• Over 100 Najaf Abad University students suspended – since the beginning of Najaf Abad Open University’s examination session, over 100 students were suspended and expelled by the Discipline Committee, which is suspected to be directly controlled by the Intelligence Ministry.
• Tens of Science and Industry University students suspended – (source).
Zia Nabavi, student at Babol Noushirvani University, sentenced to 15 years in prison and 74 lashes – (source) He was charged with harming national security, anti-government propaganda, public disorder and incitement. He was arrested shortly after the elections.
• Student activist sentenced to 2 years and 148 lashes – Yashar Qajar, the former secretary of Amir Kabir University students’ association, was sentenced to a 2-year suspended-sentence imprisonment and 148 floggings. He had been arrested three and a half years ago for harming national security, incitement and defaming senior officials in the students’ website which he had set up.
• Authorization of Tehran University Students’ Association revoked – a senior Tehran University official said that from now on any activity of the association is illegal. It is noteworthy that this association was one of the few which had enjoyed the university’s approval.
1. Student activist sentenced to 6 years and 74 lashes – Naseh Farfidi, an activist student from the Teachers Training School, was sentenced to a 6-year imprisonment and 74 lashes. The detainee is an ex-secretary of the Students’ Association and was detained right after the elections. He was charged with crimes against national security.
2. Students of Qazvin International University dismissed for participating in "riots"; 25 suspended for 3-4 semesters.
Letter from father of condemned prisoner to UN Sec.Gen. Ban Ki-Moon
Excerpts: My son has advanced M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis)… Hamed left Iran for treatment and to pursue his studies. With the ultimate destination of the United States in mind, he left the country through Iraq… Nine months after my son’s return and more than a month before the presidential elections, security forces from the Ministry of Information came to my house at night and arrested my son, this 23-year-old youth who had no connections or affiliations to any groups and whose simple purpose in going to Iraq was to ultimately seek medical treatment in America… Hamed, a youth interested in ideas who has remained active and curious in high school and university, is today faced with an unfair and mind-boggling death sentence. Read the full letter (English) here.
Jan 5: Mahdi Gilani, a member of the youth section at the Mosharekat Front party and deputy chairman of the election campaign HQ in Khorasan Province was arrested on his way to the university. Two student activists from Zanjan University, Alireza Firoozi and Soorna Hashemi, were also arrested.
An open letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei was sent on behalf of 88 lecturers from the Faculty of Technology at the Tehran University. The lecturers expressed their discontent with the ongoing suppression of students in Iran, including nightly attacks on students’ dorms and incursions of military and security forces into campuses.
Open University of Mashhad: more than 200 students arrested during weekend’s confrontations – A fierce confrontation erupted Wednesday between students from the Open University of Mashhad and militiamen from Basij and security forces, after the latter broke into the campus. Tens were injured and many arrested. On Thursday, Ansar Hezbollah militiamen besieged the campus during another wave of confrontations and arrests. No information is currently available as to the whereabouts of the arrested students. There is a special concern over the fate of two female students who, according to eyewitnesses, were neck-slashed and in serious condition when captured by the militiamen. The severe tension in the university continued through Saturday, with reportedly at least ten arrests. Security forces encircled the campus and closed down the student union’s offices. The overall number of arrests in the past three days reached 210.
• Students from Amirkabir University declare a general strike – A group of students from Amirkabir University published a statement in which they called on students to walk out of classrooms and not attend exams as a protest against the suppression and killing of demonstrators on Ashura Day, as well as the maltreatment of students in the past few days. Supporters of the Green Movement from the University of Science and Technology have also announced a walkout as a protest against the suppression of students.
Dec. 27, 2009
Saeed Jalali Far was arrested about a month ago and has been held in solitary confinement in Evin prison’s security ward ever since. He was allowed to contact his family over the phone only once. He said his physical condition was good, but he was not allowed to meet his family or his attorney. Saeid Jalali Far was expelled from Zanjan University due to his activities for human rights and children rights.
Human rights activists report that Koohyar Goodarzi, a journalist and human rights activist, was arrested more than a week ago, with no information provided as to his condition or whereabouts. Goodarzi, who was a student at Sharif University of Technology, was also expelled from university due to his human rights-related activities.
Dec. 7 – Student Day events – demonstrations at major universities, with citizens joining students. Well-prepared security forces managed to contain the protests with limited confrontations. Protestors chanted anti-regime slogans and demanded freedom of assembly; women and female students were at the demonstrations’ front line, some of them arrested; reports of foreign press were censored and journalists arrested.
- Documentation of the biggest protest demonstration held at Tehran University – film 1, film 2.
Vehement demonstrations were also held in Shiraz University, and in Razi University in Karmanshah; film of a protest demonstration at University of Mashhad; protests reported at the University of Isfahan and at the Kerman University.
- A relatively calm rally was held at the University of Kurdistan. The very fact that such a rally took place in this university is unique, as it is not considered a politically active university. Students chanted anti-regime slogans and clamored for the release of political prisoners.
- A film showing a tumultuous anti-regime demonstration in Khaje Nasir University. Many of this university’s students have been held in custody since the elections.
- Gen. Rajabzadeh, the commander of the Greater Tehran Area Law Enforcement force, said the police arrested 165 men and 39 women, on Student Day, December 7.
Dec. 10 – Protest events at the universities did not end with Student Day, and tension on campuses continues.
Majlis member Daryoush Ghanbari said the violence exerted by security forces was a sign of weakness on the authorities’ part, and would only provoke the protesters to carry on: “the more humiliated they are and the more violently the security forces behave, the more violent their reactions become, and the more radical the atmosphere grows”.
- Vehement demonstrations at Tehran University continue two days after Student Day – see film. At least six students were arrested, with no information made available as to their condition. Protest demonstration in Sharif University too. See film. Seven students from Payame Noor University in Tehran were arrested. Meisam Hassani, an activist student from Khaje Nasir University, was arrested a day after Student Day.
Prior to December 7, the regime increased the pressure on students as Student Day (December 7) approached –
- Internal Security official: "Firm actions will be taken against illegal demonstrators." Rajabzade, the Commander of Internal Security in greater Tehran, said the police would not allow any disruption of order on December 7.
- Student activists from Tabriz were under increasing pressure from security forces. Two activists were arrested a week ago – the accusations against them were not made known. Fifty students were summoned to Tabriz University’s disciplinary committee. The committee suspended six of them for two terms (Dec. 3).
- Tens of students from the Open University in Kerman were summoned to the university’s disciplinary committee where they were forced to sign a written commitment not to take part in Student Day protests (Dec.6).
Older reports involving students:
Fourteen students prevented from entering campus (Oct. 18, 2009).
- Two brothers, Roozbeh and Ramin Tehrani, both of them students, were indicted today by a court for “waging war against God” and spreading propaganda against the regime. They are also accused of engaging in terrorist activities. The brothers were arrested in June 2009 and have been detained in the security ward of Evin Prison since (IranPress news blog, Oct. 24, 2009).
- Majid Dorri is a student activist who has been indefinitely banned from higher education (Oct. 26, 2009).
- Peyman Aref – student arrested in post-election events, started a hunger strike to protest being kept in isolation and lack of contact with family. October 30 he suffered a heart attack due to the pressure and deprivation of his medications.
- Five Tafrsh University students, arrested in the middle of the night before the Nov. 4 events, are still held in custody without any information released about their condition or whereabouts (Nov. 8, 2009).
- Unconfirmed reports that Internal Security forces shot a student dead (Mahdi Nil Foroushzade) when they came to arrest him after the November 4 demonstrations. Morteza Rezai, a student from Isfahan University arrested during November 4 demonstrations, was transferred to Isfahan’s Dastgerd prison and severely beaten by security forces. He was not released with some of the other November 4 detainees; his bail was set at US$ 50,000 (Nov. 9, 2009).
- Arrests: Morteza Asadi and Vahideh Molavi. Molavi is a student and women’s rights activist. Asadi is a prominent student activist in Tehran who had been suspended from studies for two years due to his social and political activities, and only recently resumed his studies (Nov. 10, 2009).
- Mahsa Naderi, a 19-year-old student in economics, is being denied medical care despite suffering from a range of health conditions – severe migraines, kidney problems and gallbladder infection. The judge has refused to grant her a sick leave. Nadrei was arrested on February 20th, 2009, and sentenced to one year in prison. She is currently serving her sentence in the women’s ward of Evin Prison (Nov. 10, 2009).
- Hesam Salamat, an MA student who had been suspended from studies due to his political activities, was sentenced to four years in prison by a Revolutionary Court for "propagating against the regime and participating in illegal demonstrations with the intention to compromise national security" (Nov. 15, 2009).
- Mostafa Shafiei, a student of Medicine from Anzali University, and activist at Mousavi’s election campaign HQ, was arrested . His whereabouts are currently unknown, and no information was provided to his family regarding his condition (Nov. 17, 2009).
- Four students from the Polytechnic University in the city of Tafrash were arrested by security forces. They are accused of attempting a coup, compromising national security and resisting the rule of the Islamic jurisprudents. Last week, seven other students from the same university were arrested. The university’s student administration has been accusing student activists of supporting Israel. It threatened to bring about the arrest of any student who would organize even the smallest political activity (Nov. 17, 2009).
- Following the November 4 demonstrations in Kerman University, tens of student activists were summoned to the university’s disciplinary committee and accused of harming the regime and disrupting order. In addition, security personnel threatened to expel students who would continue the protests (Nov. 19, 2009).
- Iran arrests student activists ahead of Student Day (December 7) – English reports about the measures taken against student activists, three weeks before “Student Day” on December 7, can be found in the websites of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Zamaaneh and Payvand.
Student activists arrested include Abbas Hakimzade, the political secretary of the student organization Tahkim Vahdat. This is the second time Hakimzade has been arrested; he was first arrested last year with seven other students and underwent torture in order to force him into false confession. Also arrested: Two student activists from the Tabriz campus of Iran’s Open University (allowed to call their families after four days in custody); two female student activists from Shiraz – no information available about their condition; six students from Alame Tabatabei University.
- Students sentenced to imprisonment and flogging – Eight students from Mazandaran University, who were involved in a protest demonstration at the campus following the elections, were sentenced to several months in prison and 15 lashes each. The students were accused, among other things, of disrupting the order at the university and tearing up the president’s image (Nov. 24, 2009).
- Student activists arrested throughout Iran – An opposition site published the names of more than 70 students recently arrested (Nov. 25, 2009). Some examples:
- Ilam University – Two activists and members of the students’ union were arrested.
- International University of Qazvin – Three student activists, members of the Reformist Union at the university, were arrested at the Intelligence Ministry. They are Payam Heydar Qazvini, Farhad Fathi and Saeid Sakakyan.
- Shahid Beheshti University – Two students, Mohammad Nikkhah and Hamid Qahvechyan, were arrested a week ago by the Intelligence Ministry. Since their arrest, no information was made available as to their condition or whereabouts. There is serious concern over their fate.
- The Open University of Ahvaz – The University’s disciplinary committee summoned 100 students, fearing protest demonstrations on Student Day next month. According to reports, many surveillance cameras had been installed throughout the campus, and the presence of security personnel and Basij militiamen had been reinforced, following the unrest on November 4.
- Milad Omrani, a student activist from a leftist movement at the Rajaei University, was sentenced to two years in prison. He had been arrested two years ago during a demonstration on Student Day, and released on bail after two months’ detention in Evin prison.
- The Iranian regime announced the establishment of a new special committee at the Ministry of Science, which would have the authority to force lecturers to retire. Student activists responded to this announcement saying it was another step aimed at terrorizing academics ahead of Student Day (Nov. 26, 2009).
- Atefe Nabavi, an MA student, arrested in post-election protests, held in isolation at Evin prison for 97 days, then transferred to general ward. Release on bail withheld due to the Intelligence Ministry’s objection. Accused of planning terrorist attacks and having ties with Mujahidin Khalq, an Iranian opposition organization acting from abroad. Suspended from university (Oct. 15, 2009).
Nabavi was charged with disrupting public order and taking part in a gathering against the regime and sentenced to four years in prison by a Revolutionary Court (Nov. 26, 2009). See also: Violations of Law and Due Process Standards in the Conviction of Atefeh Nabavi (Nov. 30, 2009)
- An order to cut off Internet connection and cellular lines and crack down on protesting students on Student Day (December 7) – Websites affiliated with the Iranian opposition claim that Iran’s Ministry of Communication ordered all telephone exchanges throughout the country to cut off Internet connections and cellular lines completely on December 6 and 7. Some unconfirmed reports also suggest that the regime is preparing for a more aggressive and violent confrontation with demonstrators, especially on campuses, in order to put an end to the anti-regime protests once and for all (Nov. 30).
Students summoned to disciplinary committees
- Eighteen students from the Water and Power University of Technology were summoned to the university’s disciplinary committee, probably as an act of intimidation ahead of Student Day events. The disciplinary committee of Orumiye University summoned 12 of the university’s students (Nov. 29, 2009).
- The disciplinary committee of Shahre Kord University summoned 23 students to appear before it, following their participation in the November 4 protests, and imposed severe punishments on them, including suspension from studies for several terms. Milad Asadi, from Khaje Nasir University, was arrested in his house by Internal Security forces, and Morteza Samyar was summoned for interrogation at the Intelligence Ministry. Both are members of the Central Committee of the Vahdat Tahkim association. Students at Tehran University held a vehement demonstration and demanded the immediate release of all their schoolmates (Nov.1).
- More than twenty students from the University of Teacher Training were summoned to the university’s disciplinary committee for disturbing the speech of Safar Harandi, the former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance. More than fifty students have been summoned to the disciplinary committees since the beginning of the academic year for taking part in protests against the election results. The committees imposed punishments of suspension for one or two terms on some of these students. In addition, the disciplinary committee of Ferdosi University in Mashhad summoned 30 students and accused them of taking part in illegal demonstrations on November 4. Five students from this university, among those arrested at the demonstrations, are still in custody (Dec. 2).