Sunday, March 19, 2006

Harvard rallies for students in Iran

Michael A. Busack, The Boston Globe:
Approximately 100 students gathered in Harvard University's Leverett House last night for a concert and rally to denounce repression of students in Iran, where they said activists are being arrested for what they post on the Internet.

''What we're doing tonight is celebrating free expression," said Adam Scheuer, a Harvard senior and executive editor of the Harvard Middle East Review, one of the nine student groups that cosponsored the Iranian Freedom Concert. ''We're having bands come up and play music because we value that free expression."

The concert featured a diverse group of student speakers, including the president of the Harvard Republican Club, Steven Dewey; and the president of the Harvard Democrat Club, Eric Lesser.

Others speakers included Harvard Undergraduate Council president John Haddock and Akbar Atri, an Iranian student activist on campus.

The event organizers said they would take no position on the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

''Iranian students are denied basic rights Americans take advantage of every day," Scheuer said in a press release. ''But there is a brave student movement in Iran working for change, and we need to support them." READ MORE

The crowd cheered as co-emcee Jack McCambridge announced that Akbar Ganji, an Iranian dissident who was imprisoned in 2000 for writing about the killing of Iranian dissidents, was released yesterday.

The concert was held just before the traditional Persian new year of Norouz, which is on March 20.

Organizers said they hoped the timing would reflect hope for ''a new day for freedom in Iran."
Check out the other events at other campuses.