Arrest of Iranian Academics Condemned

Source:http://www.nearinternational.org

The UK’s University and College Union (UCU) has formally condemned the Iranian government after 70 university professors were arrested as part of the state’s crackdown on opposition protestors. The academics were held on the 25 June after meeting the pro-reformist candidate Mr Mousavi, who has accused President Ahmadinejad of rigging this month’s national elections.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “The actions of the Iranian government are completely deplorable and must be condemned by the international community. It is deeply disturbing that academics are being targeted by the state for meeting with opposition leaders. It is criminal that their rights to free speech and assembly are being violated in this way.” Subsequent reports indicate that most of the academics have been released, but that two are still being held.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Hundreds of protesters and activists are believed to have been taken into custody since the vote on 12 June, which saw Iran’s ruling clerics declare President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the winner by a landslide margin. Ali Ansari, director of the Iranian Institute at the University of St Andrews, told Times Higher Education that it was almost inevitable that universities and academics would be in the firing line during the crackdown.

The Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network in New York has also expressed deep concern at the reports of violence on university campuses and towards members of university communities in Iran. SAR has pledged to help any Iranian scholars in need of assistance, with the possibility of temporary opportunities at network universities.

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21 Responses to “Arrest of Iranian Academics Condemned”

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