Long prison term for Iranian student leader


Published in German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” on January 20 2010
Source German: http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2010-01/iran-studentenfuehrer

Iran’s judiciary continues to take rigorous action against opposition supporters. Prominent activist Majid Tavakoli was sentenced to 8 years an 6 months in prison.

The well-known student leader Majid Tavakoli was arrested during the protest on 7. December 2009 in Tehran. He now was sentenced to several years in prison.

Majid Tavakoli was accused of acting against Iran’s national security and insulting high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic. This was reported by Iranian news agency Fars.

The student leader had been arrested on 7. December, the “Student Day”, at a demonstration to protest against the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Student Day in Iran commemorates three students who were killed in anti-American protests in 1953 by the police of the Shah. Thousands of regime critics used the opportunity of this anniversary to demonstrate. During the protests, clashes took place between anti-government protesters and security forces. Tens of thousands of protesters chanted “Death to the dictator” and “Freedom, freedom”.

According to a report published by the official news agency IRNA, Tavakoli had attempted to escape from the campus dressed in female clothing. In an online campaign of solidarity that followed this incident, several prominent opposition leaders published pictures of themselves wearing headscarves. Tavakoli had already been arrested for similar charges in 2007 and spent 15 months in prison.


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