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Hundreds OF Students In Iran Condemn Harsh Sentences Against Their Peers

Iranian students clash with riot police during an anti-government protest around the University of Tehran, Iran, 30 December 2017. File photo

Hundreds of Tehran University students have protested recent harsh verdicts issued against their fellow students arrested during protests in early 2018.

In a letter to the president of the university, 500 students say that the so-called "revolutionary court" judges have sentenced twelve of their colleagues to a total of seventy years, adding, "four Tehran University students are presently behind bars."

The president of the university has not yet responded to the letter.

The letter is similar to appeals last year, which were followed by protest rallies in different university campuses across the country.

In December 2018, 500 student activists also wrote a letter to the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani to condemn the expanding presence of security agencies and "the deepening atmosphere of repression" dominating universities in Iran.

The students also criticized what they said was “a race” among intelligence organs for suppressing Iranian students and others, including teachers, workers, and dervishes across the country.

Moreover, in an unprecedented development, an ultraconservative student group also asked the country's Supreme Leader last year to be accountable for the Islamic Republic's 40-year record.

The letter also demanded Khamenei to respond to questions concerning the performance of state-run institutions under his supervision, including the Islamic Revolution Guardians Corps (IRGC) and other armed forces.

Later, the group, under heavy pressure from Khamenei's conservative allies and the so-called parallel intelligence apparatuses, backed down and retracted its demand. Surprisingly, the branch of the same group in Shiraz, southern Iran, repeated the same demand days later.

Khamenei's office ignored the "invitation" and did not react to the letter.