Saturday, 18 July 2015
20 October 2020
7th of December with supportive students in foreign

“۷th of December is our solidarity day”

2010 December 18

Ardavan Roozbeh\
Radio Koocheh

7th of December is the university students’ day. Although this had been held oriented with regime policies before, but it was the starting ceremonies which it become alongside with students movements. The office of Tahkim Vahdat ((An organization aimed for solidarity between students)) and student’s activists in Azad University and Payam Noor University and other higher education centers push this day to its original basement.

This day always come alongside with speech of politician who talk about academic universities and assign university movement as a religious movement and related to religious government basically. But very soon students believe in various ideas, held their own ceremony and this is why we are observing such tension every year in this particular day.

This day became another day for Iran rulers to be anxious just like Ashura Day, Islamic Revolution anniversary or Qods Day. This 7th of December, according to student activists proved students’ presence despite nabbing and tough securities pressures.

In medical school of Iran, students presented while saying slogans in the ceremony along side with a message from Khatami ((Iran former president)). In the University of Qazvin around 3,000 students entertain the demonstrative movement of 7th of December. There are also some other news from other universities and other efforts was done. Before this, numbers of students had been nabbed by intelligence services and some other odd nabbing at the middle of November represents that they had been prepared for it.

Another point is supporting students’ movements outside of country. After election some new ties were created between interior and exterior students tries to reflect interiors’ barriers to international society.

For the purpose of 7th of December I go for students studding outside of the country and ask them to express their definition of supportive movements toward students inside the country and explain what they have done in 7th of December.

Siavash Saffari an Iranian student in Edmonton, Canada who is active in supporting students inside the country interviewed with us.

Sadra Shahabi is another student activist in New York. He is also a member of students’ supportive groups in the U.S who was with Radio Koocheh in 7th of December.

But a year ago in 14th of June in the days after election we go for a Mazandarani ((A province north of Iran)) student form University of Mazandaran and ask her about student movement which she was in it and also about its requests. Arnoosh Azrahimi was one of those students who demonstrate against the situation created after election alongside other students. She with 3 others was migrated to Turkey because of political and securities pressures.

Her vigor and energy could be a new definition for ties of students’ activists inside and outside of the country by itself because most of activists inside the country are such activist who forced to abandon Iran.

Mr. Saffari! You are one of Iranian students outside the country. Please explain whether active students abroad could be supportive for interior students’ movement inside the country or not? If so, which ways could be helpful for such movement?

Students’ movements in Iran comforted with new everyday pressures and obstacles. On the other hand we know that millions of Iranians are living outside the country because in recent years a huge number of Iranian students abandon the country. The issue about immigration and “Brains escape” phenomenon was intensified. Most that live outside the country are anxious about Iran’s interior issues and want to help their friends and classmates. Since the cost of informing and acting inside the country gone high, it is important that the student become the voice of students inside their country. As it is pointed in the manifest of 7th December, one of the objectives which ceremony establishers follow is to improve global perception about violation of social and academical freedoms for Iranian students.

In the year passed, we observed that students in many parts of the world could start new movements innovatively that could represent the voice of those students.

Around 3 months ago for reopening Universities, a common manifest of more than 20 groups supporting The Green Movement and students organizations outside of the country were published. The groups that published the manifest declare that government’s ploys for localizing universities, sex base scantling, are for handing in faculties affairs and sacking professors is for capturing universities and threatening. On the other hand these groups declare that they continue to ask for freeing nabbed students and freeing them from threatening and pressure and ruling of militants and also asking for student’s requests in abroad. Establishing the vast ceremony for 7th of December oriented on this way, that means in the way of establishing solidarity and convergence between students outside the country and supporting legitimate requests of Iranian students.

20 groups of Iranian students studding outside sign the manifest. It consists of Iranian students living in Lebanon, Malaysia, and different cities of the U.S and Europe and sporting group of Democratic Movement of Iran in Edmonton. In a program, we host Ali Afshari, a student activist by Skype. He discussed about present condition of students’ movement and passing stage to democracy.

In different cities some tribune, round table or exhibition were also held.

Do you think students’ movement inside the country is connected to the foreign one?

Yes. As I told before, many of students and activists were escaped out of Iran in recent years. Those students, who had requests inside of Iran some years ago, now went outside and still those ties are indefeasible. After last year election pressures on students and University’s’ stuff were became more tough. It consists of imprisonment, tortures, pressures on admission, sacking professors, and diversifying demonstrating students and controlling universities and students. At the begging of the 7th December Ceremony student activists, captured by Intelligence Ministry. Siyavash Hatam the former secretary of Islamic Council of Booali University of Hamadan nabbed alongside 4 others from elected members of central council of Tahkim Vahdat Organization. These are the obstacles which students faced.

Like other movement such as Women and Labor Movements, Students’ movement got its own common requests which all groups of Iranian people and the others like us who live outside the country are shared with. Such as: Law observation or respecting to civil rights. Moreover, students’ movement has got its own special requests which published in different shapes in manifests or demonstrations. When we want to be the voice of students inside the country, we know these requests. The request which published by groups outside the country requests for unquestioned freedom of more than 70 nabbed students like Bahareh hedayat, Milad Asadi who are behind the bars for more than one year or the others who nabbed recently before 7th of December.

There were also another requirements in the common invitation like canceling of disciplinarian committee writs which suspend demonstrative students temporary or perennially. Or observing professors and students’ academic freedom, putting an end on being opposite and handing in education and researching of humanism that continued in Iran for 30 years, respecting to independence of universities and not handing nonprofessionally in administrating or structure of Iranian universities especially Medical University of Iran that closed by government, putting an end on localization and religious or sex discrimination in admitting students. These are requests that we also ask for them as an Iran students’ movement outside the country.

Sadra Shahabi from NY is a new member of some active groups in students’ affairs that support and endeavored for students inside the country and had programs for 7th of December.

In your point of view how the interior students feel themselves tied students outside of the country?

A grate phenomenon had happened that forced students to abandon Iran because of unsuitable political and economical atmosphere in the country. Most of them are the best students who escape out of Iran and they are multiplied in recent years.

The structure of students outside of the country never parted from interior students. Most of the students who are related to political, human rights and social problems escaped out of Iran. They were from AmirKabir, Sharif, Tehran, Beheshti university engaged in political-social affairs went outside of Iran. Being away from Iran, they do not feel separated from the movement. Although because of geographical and social situation outside the country made them to have more freedom and participate in activities that the other students inside the country be incapable of. On the other hand, because of being inside the country, the interior students’ activities are much effective but dangerous. But the two bodies must work with each other and must try to talk and support each other.

What do the students’ activist done outside the county at 7th of December?

If you enter the site of Daneshjo news, you will see that all the students’ group outside the country that means both the groups which are completely students or got some student members are gathered and tried to do something coordinated globally. The map is in the web site. You could see that most of American, European or Asian states or cities had done various programs and informed somehow and showed poster of students and related films. An ecumenical and global movement was established.

Do you think that the students in abroad could make a step for the students inside the country? By shows and other things done, do you think that you done something for interior students at 7th of December?

Evaluating what has done outside the country is very hard. It is a hard task to measure the results of what is done outside with a standard. I think that informing and news casting is better than silence. The body of students’ movement outside the country could remain muted or do what it is doing now that is informing and correlating activities which is effective completely.

But this is hard to measure whether it is so effective to establishing a campaign for freeing a political prisoner and he/she become free in that week or following month or not. This is very hard.

Have you programmed systematically for connecting students inside the country continuously?

We could not say that the student inside or outside the country are separated and not connected. Students’ activists outside who acted inside the country one time still have their connection. I talk to my friends inside Iran every day. We are not separated mentally or individually. The thing is that the repressive regime is so tough that students group inside the country are not able to be independent and got independent connections or program and done a cooperated project with outside the country.

At the begging of 7th of December events and as a student, what is your massage of the other students inside or outside the country?

I want to say the points that students believe about and in 7th of December done them simultaneously. The requests of these group to the present regime of Iran is that they put an end on nabbing students due to their opinion, or suspending students, or racial, vernacular, sexual discrimination or sacking qualified professors from universities. Instead of attacking student mentally or physically, they must consider the events happened in Iran. Some professors were assassinated. At least they must be responsible for securing university stuff and the likes.

Before this in last June, I had interviewed with a student in Mazandaran University, Arnoosh Azarahimi who participated in demonstrations happened after election. The nabbing made her to escape out of Iran last week alongside 3 other students and be refugee in Turkey. Arnoosh Azarahimi is a student activist there and discussed about 7th of December.

What obstacles do you see in the way of student process and its palpitant belonged activities?

Unfortunately students’ movement faced many upsanddowns in recent years. The worst thing is the presence of intelligence organizations in universities and nabbing them and pressuring on their families. All our talented friends in universities were nabbed and faced sever disciplinary and juridical warrants that caused to be an obstacle for this independent and self developer movement apart from any political or sectarian idea.

Do you think that present situation of students reached inaction?

Unfortunately this atmosphere dose not allows students to perform aboveboard. They my do something hidden but since it is not seeable appeared to be inaction. However they have right to exist and if they act that causes to be obvious and intelligence services put pressure on them or their family and put them in jail. Students act potentially.

It has been a week that you abandon Iran. You have been one of students’ activists in Mazandaran University. What was your reason for escaping out of Iran and become a refugee in Turkey?

After 4 years of passing my courses, the university did not give my degree. I was a student bereaved from studding and I attended for Master Entrance Exam but they didn’t give the results. I had been summoned to intelligence office for several times. My family was under pressure by intelligence organizations. My nearest friends were sized this week. The intelligence office summoned me but I forced to abandon Iran although I didn’t want to.

Please explain about other students who were acting alongside you in Mazandaran University?

Ali Nazari, Siyavash Saffavi and Zaynab Hassanpoor came outside the country with me. I have never been in jail but they have been there for 6 month. Others faced tough disciplinary warrants like suspension from university or juridical ones. Each of them imprisoned for 6 to 12 months and the situation is very hard for them. They are under severing control of intelligence office of Mazandaran or other provinces.

What is the expectancy about student movement?

The only expectancy is to retain itself in domestic political movement. Students’ movement has always assumed as criticizing movement. That if they want to hand in politics directly and with parties would destruct the movement. The other expectation is to continue its duties despite such pressures. We also abandon the country to be able to help these students’ activities because inside the country situation was not easy for us and this was our reason for escaping out of it.


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