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Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation

Abdorahman Boroumand Foundation at American University Law School

On May 30th, 2013, ABF was invited by the Human Rights Academy at American University law school to talk about the situation of the Iranian student movement, the breach of academic freedom and other human rights abuses in Iranian universities. The event started with an introduction by ABF’s Executive Director followed by a presentation of its documentary: Interrupted Lives: Portraits of Student Repression.

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Following the documentary, Anahita Rostampur, a former law student in Iran, and Ahmad Medadi, a former student activist from Daftar Tahkim Vahdat (Office for Consolidating Unity) in Zanjan University shared their experiences with the law students including many who have come from various countries to attend the Human Rights Academy’s summer courses.

Limits to academic Freedoms and control over students and the curriculum were the focus of the first presentation.  The second presentation focused on activism in Iranian universities, students’ demands, and the government’s repressive policies.

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Anahita Rostampour said in her presentation: “Academic freedoms; a set of freedoms, lead to the development of new views, and new demands and brings fresh blood in the vein of the society, are systematically breached in Iran… The academia is controlled through several layers; these layers include but are not limited to:  vetting entrance to the universities, vetting the subject matters, Choosing the deans of the schools.”

vlcsnap-2013-06-01-01h47m30s126-1Reminding the fact that in the last decade, the student movement’s discourse has focused on the defense of human rights and democracy, Ahmad Medadi stressed the importance of international solidarity with Iranian students: “Iranian civil society calls for peace, friendship, human rights, and democracy. Unfortunately, filters its voice and the international community does not hear it. Iranian civil society needs the international community to hear its voice independently. Hope is key in any struggle against tyranny. International solidarity with the Iranian civil society is the best way to strengthen this hope.”

Following the presentation, students asked the panelists questions regarding the situation in Iran and students’ expectation from the international community.

http://youtu.be/oVBLeHu5aWU

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