Updated: Apr 26, 2019
According to a report published by BBC Persian on July 22, 2018, some 120 academics from universities across Iran issued an open letter dated July 16 that called for President Hassan Rouhani to immediately suspend judicial cases against more than 150 students who remain behind bars for participating in protests that occurred in December 2017 and January 2018.
In the letter the academics urge Rouhani’s administration “to take steps in support of students and carry out your duties and pledges to safeguard people’s rights and defend students’ space to criticize.” The signatories, who include Tehran’s representatives to parliament, entreat Rouhani to “immediately issue an order to completely suspend the judicial cases against the students.”
“It appears that most of the detained students have participated in previous legal activities and may have criticized the performance of your government regarding universities," the letter says. "This matter has raised suspicions that some are trying to silence dissent in universities, which would undoubtedly be harmful to the future of the country."
Reports indicate that the majority of the students who remain in prison were arrested by Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence, which operates under the president.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide joins the academics in urging Iranian authorities to release all students behind bars arrested for the participating in the peaceful demonstrations. We ask for President Rouhani to defend students’ right to freedom of expression.
ESW calls upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn the Iranian authorities' continued abuse of students. The officials of the Iranian government must respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties in accordance with Iran’s obligations under law.
Please send appeals to the following:
President Hassan Rouhani The Office of the President Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran
Javad Zarif Minister of Foreign Affairs The Minister’s Office Imam Khomeini Square Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 66743149 Website: http://www.mfa.gov.ir Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jzarif