Iran: dissident students arrested

From the Polytechnic Free Campaign, support group for dissident students at Amir Kabir University of Technology (formerly Tehran Polytechnic), Dec. 6:

On Tuesday the 4th of December, security police and masked intelligence agents arrested 28 students during a demonstration against the Iranian government. Some of them are detained in solitary confinement in the notorious high security lockup of 209 and some in the small lockup of the intelligence agency in central Tehran called Tracking office (Daftare Peygiri).

The names of the arrested students, which were published by the website of the student base, are as follows. From the University of Mazandaran; Milad Moeeni, Behrang Zandi, Hamed Mohammadi, Arash Pakzad, Nader Ahsani and Hassan Moarefi.

Saeed Habibi whom was a prior member of the central council of solidarity strengthening (Shoraye markaziye daftare tahkime vahdat). From the university of Tehran; Anooshe Azadfar, Behrooz Karimizade, Mehdi Gerayloo, Rouzbeh Safshekan and Rouzbehan Amiri. From the Polytechnic University; Ali Salem and Mohsen Ghamin. From the Al’ame University; Nasim Soltanbeigi and Saeed Agham-Alikhalili.

From the Shahed University; Yasser Pirhayati. From the Industrial university of Sharif; Keyvan Amiri-Alyassi. From the Central Tehran Azad University; Ilnaz Jamshidi, Mahsa Mohabi, Ali Kallayi, Amir Mehrzad, Hadi Salaari, Farshid Farhadi Ahangaran, Amir Aghayi, Milad Omrani.

The widespread arrestment of the students begun when Security forces raided the homes of a majority of the left winged students, whom were planning to initiate a demonstration on “Students Day” inside the Tehran University. Some of the students were arrested at the student day demonstration preparation meeting at the University by the Security forces. Even though it is prohibited for the security forces to enter the university, they crossed the threshold and in a very discussable and vicious attack arrested two students inside the university, and removed them from the complex.

Even in the University of Shiraz, armed security forces brutally attacked Yunes Mirhosseini, a part of the student movement, hit him all bloody and kidnapped him. No information about the whereabouts of the detainment or the conditions of the imprisonment of Mr. Mirhosseini has been specified. However one can clearly see the connection of his arrestment and the involvement in initiating the student meeting.

Besides Nasim Soltanbeigi whom called his family, and told them that he has been arrested, the families of the other students that have been arrested have separately attended the revolutionary court to gain some information about the conditions and the grounds of the arrestments of their children.

In addition to the 28 students whom was recently arrested, so have these students; Ahmad Ghassaban, Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli, Ali Nikoonesbaty and Ali Azizi been arrested by the intelligence agency and are detained in Evin prison.

See our last post on Iran and the civil opposition.

  1. More on arrested Iranian students
    Kevin Anderson writes from Purdue University:

    I received this from an Iranian leftist. Dec. 7 is an historic day for student protest in Iran. In 1957, under the Shah’s regime, a student was shot after demonstrations against Richard Nixon’s visit. Please circulate widely. Kevin Anderson

    Dear Friends,

    During the past few days, over 20 independent socialist students from universities at Tehran, Tabriz, Ahvaz and Shiraz have been arrested by the security forces of the Islamic Republic. A statement of support from the Unity Center of the Free University of Tabriz emphasizes that Iran’s young independent socialist activists have been especially targeted because of the links they have forged with labor and women’ rights movements. I appeal to you to do whatever you can to publicize these arrests and demand the students’ immediate release. Below please find a list of the names of the arrested students and a statement by the Unity Center of the Free University of Tabriz.

    Names of students arrested since December 2, who still remain prison:

    Anushe Azadfar
    Ilnaz Jamshidi
    Mehdi Grabloo
    Nader Ahsani
    Behruz Karimi Zadeh
    Keyvan Amiri Eliyasi
    Nassim Soltan Beigi
    Ali Kalani
    Amir Mehrzad
    Milad Moini
    Behrang Zandi
    Hamed Mohamadi
    Arash Pakzad
    Ali Salem
    Mohsen Ghamin
    Roozbeh Safshekan
    Roozbehan Amiri
    Yasir Pir Hayati
    Said Aqam Ali Khalili

    Protest Against the Mass Arrests of Socialist Students at Tehran’s Universities

    Statement by the Unity Center of the Free University of Tabriz (Iran)

    December 5, 2007

    Friends, Students, the Iranian Nation:

    The boots of dictatorship cast a heavy shadow on Iranian universities. Even as previously arrested students from Amir Kabir and other Tehran universities endure the most extreme mental and physical tortures, a new round of mass arrests of socialist students at Tehran’s universities is being reported.

    On Tuesday December 4, just a few days prior to a “Student Day” rally sponsored by socialist students at Tehran University, state security forces arrested over 25 Left activists and pivotal figures of this movement at Tehran University. The slogan of the rally was to be “No To War. The University Is Not a Military Base.” These clashes even spread to the University of Mazandaran [near the Caspian Sea]. Despite all these pressures and the continuation of the arrests, students at Tehran University were able to hold their rally under extreme police presence.

    The crackdown on student activists and the extensive suppression of socialist students in the past few days indicate important points. A cursory look at the history of student political activism in the last three decades shows that since the so called Cultural Revolution of 1981 and the elimination of all opposition voices at the universities, and after the overcoming of the deep- freeze by the mid 1990s, and the experiences of the past few years, this is the first time that a movement has risen up that is completely independent of state institutions. This movement is projecting its call for freedom and equality with perseverance at the university.

    In the not so distant past, student movements hoped for support from certain layers of the rulers or half-heartedly hoped for foreign intervention. But now the movement that is taking shape at the university is not contaminated by any of the above mentioned views. That is because, it cannot tolerate imperialist plunder and also challenges the totality of native state institutions.

    If we look back and review the experience of suppression of students in the early 1990s and early 2000s (such as the bitter events of July 1999 and June 2003) we can become aware of the precise consciousness of the current movement and its understanding of the necessity for independence from any power institution (be it the rulers or the critics within the government). It is clear that the most important reason for the suppression of this forward looking movement is this definition of its attitude to political deals and its refusal to be used as a means. Furthermore the link that this movement has established with other social movements (workers’ movement, women’s movement . . .) is a fine point that should not be overlooked. Much more remains to be said about this which needs more space than the current statement.

    As a group of students from the Free University of Tabriz, we support the completely independent student movements and the need for independence of each movement. We also express our strong opposition to the latest attacks on students at Tehran’s universities. We are also very sad to see the deliberate silence of many political activists and the news boycott concerning the suppression of socialist students. In expressing our support for the imprisoned students, we strongly demand the unconditional release of all the arrested students.

    Unity Center, A Student-Political Organization
    December 5, 2007

    1. students arrested
      This evening Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) declared that has arrested several people at Tehran University seeking to start an “illegal” demonstration.

      The detained students had been called by “anti-regime political groups to create unrest in the university by holding an illegal gathering.” The state-run news agency, IRNA quoted the statement by MOIS.

      read more

  2. Petition for arrested students in Iran

    To: Iranian Government

    Campaign to free all detained student activists in Iran!

    To all students’, labour, women’s and human rights organisations and activists worldwide: put pressure on the Islamic republic of Iran to free all jailed students now!

    Student activists struggling for freedom, equality and social justice need our immediate solidarity!

    We at the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) learnt about the recent wave of suppression and arrests by the Islamic Republic of Iran against student activists.

    They have arrested a number of student activists prior to and during mass demonstrations, which are held annually in commemoration of the December 7th Students Day (16th Azar solar calendar) in Tehran and other cities across the country.

    Traditionally, 16th Azar has been the scene of large public demonstrations, and protests against repression and in defence of freedom, equality, and humanity and against gender apartheid in Iran. A vibrant youth and student movement has always existed alongside Iran’s women’s and workers’ movements in the face of enormous adversity.

    However, the current climate of threats of war by America has allowed the Islamic Republic to intensify its oppression of these movements. The students are determined to oppose such an atmosphere of repression and continue to demand freedom while opposing any potential war by the USA or its allies.

    According to the latest news posted on a pro-student websites such as, the following students are detained:

    Mehdi Gerailoo – University of Tehran, Nader Ahsani – Ex-student of the University of Mazandaran, Anoosheh Azadbar – University of Tehran, Victoria Jamshidi – University of Azad Tehran-south, Behrooz Karimizadeh – Expelled student of the University of Tehran, Saeed Habibi – Ex-student of the Sharif University of Technology, Ali Salem – University of Polytechnic , Yoones Mirhosseini – Bahonar University, Shiraz , Milad Omrani – University of Rajayi , Abed Tavancheh – Expelled student of the University of Polytechnic , Sadra Pirhayati – Shahed University Roozbeh Safshekan – University of Tehran, Saeed Aghamali – Art University of Yazd Roozbehan Amiri – University of Tehran, Nasim Soltanbeigi – University of Allameh Mahsa Mohebbi – Sharif University of Technology, Keyvan Amiri – Sharif University of Technology, Hadi Salari – University of Rajayi, Amir Aghayi – University of Rajayi Fashid Farhadi Ahangaran – University of Rajayi, Saeed Aghakhani Okhtay Hosseini – University of Azad, Soroosh Hashempoor – University of Chamran , Ahvaz, Mohsen Ghamin – University of Polytechnic, Hamed Mohammadi – University of Mazandaran arrested a week ago, Arash Pakzad – University of Mazandaran Milad Moeeni – University of Mazandaran, Hassan Maarefi – University of Mazandaran, Behrang Zandi – University of Mazandaran

    OWFI gives full support to the student activists and all progressive movements in Iran and call upon all of you to take urgent action to demand the immediate release of all detained students.

    International solidarity is the duty of all activists; support your brothers and sisters in Iran against the Islamic Republic and the threat of war!

    Campaign initiators:

    Yanar Mohammed, president of OWFI
    Houzan Mahmoud, Representative Abroad of OWFI

    Click here to sign petition