December 10, 2023

Students at some Iranian universities have been protesting the increased suppression of students by the Islamic Republic regime and university administrators in recent weeks. On Tuesday morning, students at the Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran reported holding a strike to protest against the pressure and suffocation prevailing in the university, with students refusing to attend classes, the central library, and some laboratories for two days. The students expressed that the university had established a military regime and responded to any protest with violence, insults, and disciplinary actions.

The students emphasized that the university’s goal was to silence them by force, and they had been subjected to insults, physical attacks, threats, and violations of their privacy on a daily basis. They also mentioned that the university and security forces’ actions had led some students to contemplate suicide. The student union stated that the two-day strike was just the first step in their protest and that they would continue to demand changes in university management and security procedures to create a more suitable environment for students.

The students demanded that security forces remain in guard posts and not enter the student space, an end to harassment over hijab rules, an end to intimidation by security forces, and an end to regulations instituted at the university gates, including gender segregation. They also expressed concern over students being detained, forcibly transferred to other universities, or banned from studying on allegations of being linked to protest activities.

In addition to the protests, dozens of students and alumni from the Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran signed a letter protesting the imprisonment of activists Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri. They warned that the university’s security had violently attacked the protest and expressed their concern over the university’s intentions to create a wide-scale case against the participants in the protest.

The latest protests come just a few weeks before Iranians mark “Student Day,” a commemoration of the murder of three university students by the Shah’s police force. Last year, Student Day was marked with heavy protests as part of the months of protests following the killing of Mahsa Amini by Tehran’s “morality police.” This year, Student Day will be commemorated by both supporters and opponents of the Islamic Republic, remembering the 1953 murder of three university students by police during the Pahlavi regime.

Overall, the students are persistent in their demands for justice and freedom, and they are determined to continue their protests for progressive change within the university environment.