Students Resist Prosecution for Peaceful Protests
(11 April 2008) Students at Shiraz University are refusing to respond to summonses relating to their participation in peaceful protests in March (see related story). The students are reportedly outraged that the university administration is bringing charges of “causing rioting and chaos” against them.
A member of the academic community at Shiraz University told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the campus could erupt with large protests if the administration continues to ignore students’ demands. The Campaign urged the Iranian authorities to respect the students’ freedom of expression and assembly and to engage with them to address their legitimate grievances.“Violating the rights of students will not bring calm to the campus or contribute an atmosphere for education and learning,” the Campaign said.
More than 30 students have been summoned during the past few days by the University’s Disciplinary Committee. A majority of them has refused to report to the Committee after learning of charges against them. A second summonses was issued for them to appear before the Committee on 12 April.
According to statements distributed in student dormitories, the students are demanding that the authorities retract the summonses. They believe equating months of peaceful protests to demand changes with “causing rioting and chaos” is unjust and are refusing to comply. They have given the administration until next week to withdraw the summonses. They plan further large scale protests if their prosecution persists.
Shiraz University students have protested the Chancellor’s heavy-handed tactics in regulating and restricting student life on campus. In March, thousands of students held peaceful seat-ins to demand the resignation of the Chancellor. After the Persian New Year holidays, the students found the campus under more restrictions, including installation of large number of cameras by the administration.
The Disciplinary Committees are empowered to ban students from continuing their higher education. The Committee banned ten students for a total of 17 semesters last month.
The names of students charged with “causing rioting and chaos” are:
- Abbas Rahmati, Chemical Engineering
- Hadi Asgari, Veterinary, MD
- Loghman Ghadiri, Sociology, graduate student
- Esmaiel Jalilvand, Political Science, undergraduate
- Kazem Rezaiee, Mechanical Engineering
- Mohsen Gowharinia, Veterinary, MD
- Saeed Koushki, Physics, undergraduate
- Abdolah Davoudian, Law, undergraduate
- Mohsen Zarinkamar, Veterinary, MD
- Ehsan Hashemi, Education and Human Development
- Hadi Alam li, Chemical Engineering
- Saeed Khosroabadi, Demography, graduate student
- Akbar Hasanpour, Mechanical Engineering
- Rahim Soleimani, Veterinary, MD
- Amin Dorosti, Mechanical Engineering
- Sajad Fatahi, Sociology, graduate student
- Saeed Khalatbari, Chemical Engineering
- Saeed Ashenaiee, Agricultural Engineering
- Saeed Lotfi, Law, undergraduate
- Mojtaba Sheykhian, Mechanical Engineering
- Reza Fouladifar, Political Science, undergraduate
- Yunes Mirhosaini, Law, undergraduate
- Mohammad Reza Dehghan, Chemical Engineering
- Hashem Hoseinpour, Psychology, undergraduate
- Nasim Dalvand, Sociology, undergraduate
- Neda Zeyghami, Sociology, undergraduate
- Nahid Afrasiabi, Law and Religious Jurisprudence, undergraduate
- Sahar Yazdanipour, Library Sciences, undergraduate
- Ali Shaydaiee
- Mojtaba Bakhshandeh