Call for Commemoration of Iranian Students’ Day (16 Azar)


As the date of Iran’s Students’ Day approaches, universities across Iran remain at the forefront of resistance against the dictatorship and totalitarianism of the Islamic Republic and continue the struggle for freedom, justice and human rights.  The student movement carries on its pivotal role in the contention between the defenders of freedom and democracy on one side and the strong-arm of the state on the other side. Although the regime’s militaristic forces have inflicted a great deal of harm to Iran’s universities as a means to keep them in check, Iran’s academic institutions remain quite vibrant in the pursuit of  truth and justice and in their role as a cradle of progressive ideas.

December 7, which marks the day in 1953 when three student activists (Ghandchi, Shariat-Razavi, and Bozorg-Nia) were killed by the Shah’s forces, remains a symbolic day for Iran’s students who further the efforts for democracy, freedom, human rights, and justice.

While  the student movements is proud of its seven decades of continuous and unabated struggle for enlightening the Iranian society and improving Iranian’s lives, today it faces real challenges. Even a simple celebration of this year’s Student Day poses grave risks and dangers.

Over the past year,  the pressure to stop Iranian students from engaging in peaceful, civil activities continues to escalate daily. Often times, active students are incarcerated or barred from continuing their education on politically motivated charges. IRI authorities fabricate scenarios as a means to charge student activists with involvement in “soft revolution, sedition, or connection to foreign forces” — all of which serve to deprive active students of their basic civil rights and academic freedoms.

As a group of Iranian academics living outside Iran, we have assumed the responsibility of echoing the voices of student activists inside Iran using the international arena and planning major events to commemorate Students’ Day and to highlight and reflect the Iranian students’ demands.

We believe that academics part of both the Iranian Diaspora and the larger university community can play a vital role in supporting Iran’s student movement and their goals. The academic community worldwide should utilize all available means to further the movement, while supplementing its activities. Improved cooperation among Iranian students and academics abroad can greatly better the quality and quantity of Iranian student organizations all over the world. This is essential to revitalizing the Iranian student movement outside the country – one that can become a significant cornerstone for the Iranians peoples’ efforts to attain freedom.

Let us join hands in support of the Iranian student movement and make this year’s December 7th action a turning point in the efforts of Iran’s students in the recent years.

We urge the following goals to commemorate Iran’s Students’ Day:

  1. The immediate and unconditional release and freedom of the over seventy imprisoned students.
  2. Overturning the disciplinary committees’ temporary and permanent prohibition of student activists.
  3. Guaranteeing academic freedom and stopping the human and civil rights violations in universities.
  4. Putting an immediate end to the ideological intervention in humanities and social science education and research.
  5. Defending the institutional independence of academia in Iran and putting an end to the government’s intervention in universities’ management.
  6. Stopping the government’s program of expulsion of independent professors and replacing them with corroborative uneducated figures.
  7. Nullification of the dissolution of Iran College of Medical Sciences, and stopping governmental intervention in the organizational structure of universities.
  8. Putting an end to the political, ideological, sexist and religious discrimination in the student admission process.
  9. Voicing the student movement’s viewpoints in Iranian national affairs.
  10. Mobilizing Iranian student organizations abroad.
  11. Supporting international sanctions against state officials who have engaged in the systematic human rights abuses and violations against the Iranian people.

The time and location of events in various cities will follow. Individuals and academics who wish to support this cause may do so by emailing us at 16azar.ec@gmail.com.

Please go to Students4Iran.org and DaneshjooNews.com for additional information

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