Dismissal of a University Professor for Political Reasons
Dr. Abbas Kazemi, a Communications professor at Tehran University’s Department of Social Sciences, was dismissed from his position because he had participated in the funeral procession of prominent dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Montazeri. A blogger and former detainee of post elections arrests, Somayeh Tohidloo, a student at the same university, wrote about Dr. Abbas Kazemi:
“Dr. Abbas Kazemi, a professor of Communications at Tehran University’s Department of Social Sciences, is a faculty member who has conducted various research projects and is a winner of the Kharazmi Prize. His latest book was published recently. He is straightforward and a critic, like any other sociologist who observes social relations with a critical view. His contract with Tehran University was valid until September 21, 2010, but the University sent him a letter, revoking the contract, stating that he is released from his contract as of January 21, 2010. This means he is fired!”
She says: “The letter of dismissal states that Dr. Abbas Kazemi was seen in the crowd at Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral procession, and it has been claimed that he was chanting slogans. This is why he was sent a letter at home, revoking his contract.” Since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s taking office in 2004, dismissals of university professors due to their political viewpoints has become a controversial practice. Over the past few years, tens of ladder rank university professors were forced into early retirement and contract lecturers were faced with non-renewals on their existing contracts.