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IRAN – Top student leader arrested

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iran_milad-asadi.jpgWith the approach of the National Students Day,
December 7, the authorities have stepped up persecution and prosecution
of student activists throughout the country, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
iran_milad-asadi.jpg(Source: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, 2 December 2009)
With the approach of the National Students Day,
December 7, the authorities have stepped up persecution and prosecution
of student activists throughout the country, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

Authorities arrested prominent student leader Milad Asadi, a member of the Central Council of the Student Union to Foster Unity
(Daftar e Tahkim Vahdat), at his home on the afternoon of 1 December.
Three other members of the Central Council, Bahareh Hedayat, Mehdi
Arabshahi  and Farid Hashemi, were summoned on 29 November to appear
before the Revolutionary Court on 2 December. Another member of the
Central Council, Abbas Hakimzadeh, was arrested last week and remains

Asadi is a student of Khajenasir University, whose authorities
suspended him from his studies on the day of his arrest. In April 2009,
in an interview with the Campaign, he explained the concerns of the Student Union to Foster Unity
as "students' collective rights, our right to study, our right to free
_expression, the freedom of association and assembly, which all the
students all around the world are enjoying."

"The arrests of Milad Asadi and at least 90 students over the past
three weeks are illegal under international law, and deserve scrutiny
by United Nations Special Rapporteurs as per the UN Resolution soon to
be approved by the General Assembly," said Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson
for the Campaign.

"While the arrests are clearly an attempt to decapitate the student
movement, violations of their fundamental rights are unlikely to deter
Iranian students from demanding them," he added.
Amirkabir News reported that Babak Ghiyasi, an agricultural
student at Razi University in Kermanshah, was arrested on 1 December.
He has been banned from entering the University, and three days
following the end of the ban, as he was entering a ceremony of honoring
students of distinction, he was kidnapped by unknown persons believed
to be security agents of the Revolutionary Guards. No information has
given about his whereabouts. There has been no information released
about numerous other students who were recently arrested and remain in jail.
The authorities are also targeting human rights reporters to prevent
the dissemination of news and information about recent arrests. On
November 30, security and intelligence detained Saeed Kalanki and Saeed
Jalalifar, two members of the Committee of the Human Rights Reporters
which is one of the main organizations currently reporting on human
rights violations. Jalalifar was expelled from Zanjan University last

University officials, acting hand in hand with security forces, have
stepped up their actions against students through university
Disciplinary Committees, suspending and expelling student activists on
what are considered spurious grounds. The Campaign has
learned that on 1 December: 12 students in Orumieh University were
summoned to the Disciplinary Committee; 10 students in Khajenasir
University were summoned and suspended from their studies for 12
semesters; and 30 students were summoned in Ferdowsi University in
Mash'had (5 students of this institution are in jail after they were
arrested following demonstrations on 4 November).

In addition, Mowj e Sabz reported that 12 students in Payam
e nour University in Mash'had were suspended for a total of 18
semesters. Amirkabir University reported that 11 students were
sentenced by the Disciplinary Committed; two were dismissed, and the
others were suspended for a total of 12 semesters. Twenty-three
students in Shahr Kurd University were also sentenced by the
Disciplinary Committee.

"It is deeply regrettable and a disgrace to the ideal of academic
freedom when universities concede their independence and persecute
students for their opinions and their legitimate activities," Rhodes

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls
for the immediate release of all illegally detained students and the
cancellation of university disciplinary measures that have violated
their right to education.