International campaign to defend Iranian students

On this 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Islamic Republic in Iran, the struggle against religious despotism has reached unprecedented dimensions. As millions of Iranians confront the regime, students have taken a central role. Over the last few months protests on university campuses have highlighted sweeping changes in Iran and the students’ slogan, ‘Death to dictatorship’, has dramatically and irreversibly transformed the political scene.

Those in power have decided to confront these protests with increased repression and the creation of an atmosphere of terror. They have tried to suppress the political actions of the students, tried to break the students’ movement. Armed thugs of hezbollah, supported by the security forces, have repeatedly invaded the campus of Tehran University and many other universities to break up demonstrations, stop speeches and arrest and recently kidnap student activists and leaders of student organisations. The government is also forcing universities to expel student activists and the lecturers who support them. We, the signatories of this statement:

  1. Express our solidarity with the pro-democracy movement of Iranian students and support their call for political freedom and democratic rights in Iran and support their call for freedom of all political prisoners in Iran.
  2. Condemn the use of armed violence against students and staff in universities and demand the unconditional release of all arrested students and lecturers and the reinstatement of students and staff expelled for their political beliefs.
  3. Hold the authorities of the IRI responsible for the increasing violence against students and academics in Iran.
  4. Call on individuals, human rights organisations and movements, and especially students’ organisations and academic organisations, throughout the world to support Iranian students and condemn their repression. We call on international human rights organisations to intervene and demand an end to these attacks.

We have no doubt that, in alliance with the movement of Iranian workers, in alliance with the women’s movement and the protests of writers and journalists, and with international solidarity, Iran’s students and lecturers will paralyse the rule of terror and dictatorship and will pave the way for political, social and civil emancipation of Iranian society.

Noam Chomsky, Khalil Hindi, Ben Fine, Suzi Weissman, Yassamine Mather, and many others