Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Crackdown on Students Increases

Hassan ZareZadeh Ardeshir, Rooz Online:
After the arrest of Abed Tavanche and Yashar Ghajar, two student activists from Amir Kabir University which has led to student protests and sit-ins, intelligence agencies of Iran are planning harsher treatment of students. According to information obtained in this regard, tens of summonses issued by student disciplinary committees and the closure of many student publications are on the agenda of the agencies. READ MORE

Last week, law enforcement agencies dealt harshly with the press conference of members of Amir Kabir student organization (also known as Polytechnic University) for the domestic and foreign media. In that incident, the agents broke the camera of a journalist which led the students to hold their conference through the university’s fence that separates the campus.

Following the summons and harsh treatment of students, Peyman Aref, a student at Tehran University’s Law College has been summoned to court because of a complaint filed by the president of Tehran University and the legal group of the school. Furthermore, seven students from Shahid Rajai University in Tehran have been summoned to the university’s disciplinary committee because of their protesting sit-in regarding the activities of the management and services of the university. At Kurdestan University too following a student sin in about two weeks ago, two students have been called in to the university disciplinary board.

Currently, Yashar Ghajar and Abed Tavancheh two students who were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran continue to be held in Evin prison.

Last Saturday, the Student Society of Amir Kabir University protested the detainment of Ghajar and Tavancheh in a letter to the head of the country’s judiciary and called on him to look into the matter. The letter in part reads,you have said that it is not right to arrest a suspect and inform him of his detention five days after his arrest. Rights of people must be respected prior to the judiciary’s treatment of the detainee. This right must be so clear that every one should know of the manner of arrest, where it took place and its time. People’s freedom must under no circumstances be curtailed. A suspect must be informed of the charges against him and when he will be informed of this. No one has the right to issue an order, prevent family visits or deny an attorney to a suspect contrary to the law. He must clearly know that he can request for a confidential meeting with his attorney.”

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the defense attorney for Ghajar and Tavancheh said in this regard, While almost a month has passed since the arrest of these two individuals, the preliminary investigation should be over by now and my clients must now enjoy the legal rights and privileges in connection with having an attorney. But I have not till today succeeded in visiting them or even reading their file.”

These events take place as another student detainee, Akbar Mohammadi, who was on medical leave from prison, was arrested a few days ago from his house and taken to Evin prison in Tehran.