Suspended Professors Part Of 'University Repression'
During the last several months, dozens of Iranian students have been suspended or arrested for opposing the regime. But the government has also been targeting professors, dismissing more last week.
According to Amirkabir University's online newsletter, two of its professors were suspended. Morteza Mardiha was a political philosophy professor, and Saba Vasefi was both a professor and a human rights activist.
Student activists say that the suspension of professors such as Mardiha and Vasefi is part of a larger "university repression" process. Mostafa Khosravi, a student activist, tells Radio Farda that this "dismissal project" is not a new thing, but it has become more frequent during President Ahmadinejad's second term. "[The government] is trying to clean up the universities from what they call 'non-committed' professors and replace them with 'committed,' which means Basiji, professors," he says.
Khosravi also talks about other recent incidents that have given him reasons to be concerned.
He mentions about 10 students from Elm-o-Sanat University who were arrested at the university during a student protest on the day after Ashura. Some of them have contacted their families and said that they are in Evin Prison, but there has been no news about the rest of them.
But Khosravi is also optimistic about the student movement. Regarding heavy jail sentences for students, which can be as much as eight to 10 years, he says, "These [sentences] shows that student movement in Iran was able to have a strong impact on the coup government... The judiciary sentenced the movement's leaders to four to five years, but the students more… This is a sign of success for the student movement.”
Police Distribute Protestor Photos
The Iranian police force has published and distributed a magazine that includes pictures of 65 people who have attended recent protests. These magazines have been placed in schools, mosques, government organizations and metro stations, among other locations.
An Iranian journalist, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells Radio Farda that he believes the police force's intention with this magazine is to create fear among protestors and to prevent the upcoming protest on February 11.
He says that ultimately, these threats have no negative effect on the protestors, but instead motivate them even more. "The government will pay for its irrational acts," he says.