Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hardliners Demolish Student Office

Shahram Rafizadeh, Rooz Online:
Mounting pressures on Iranian student activists has reached a turning point. Amir Kabir University news bulletin reported that the office of its student association was demolished in the presence of management and faculty members and with the approval and support of Dr. Rahaiee, the chancellor of the University who is also the representative of the leader at the institution. According to the bulleting, the contents of the office were taken to an undisclosed location. READ MORE

Every year the university hosts a series of cultural and political events, i.e. festivals, which are partly organized at the student association offices. With the destruction of this office, it is not clear how the events are going to be organized. Ramin Jahanbegloo and Mousavi Khoeini, two leading speakers and professors of this University are both currently in prison. Government hardliners recently announced that the activities of Amir Kabir University Students Association were illegal. Students and their activities have been under mounting pressures over a year now. Some student activists have been under overt and covert pressure from officials and agents, and with the destruction of their offices, their sphere of activities is curtailed even further.

According to the student news bulletin, senior university officials surrounded the building, cut the iron stairs and demolished the offices including the library, the audio-visual unit and took away everything from the offices to an undisclosed location. The bulletin adds that the destruction and confiscation were carried out in the presence of police, intelligence and security agents who tried to arrest some of the protesting association members.

When the news of arrest of a number of Islamic Association of Students Amir Kabir University members was first published last June, many anticipated that the arrests were a measure to prevent the repeat of the 1998 student unrest. But two weeks into their detentions, the hardline supervisory board of Islamic Associations of Amir Kabir University announced that all the activities of the association were illegal and that no individual or group could legally engage in any activity in the name of the banned association.