Amnesty International Marks New Campaign on Repression of Academic Freedom in Iran with Program in New York

Press Release
November 4, 2013

Amnesty International Marks New Campaign on Repression of Academic Freedom in Iran with Program in New York

Contact: Carol Gregory, cgregory@aiusa.org, 202-675-8759, @AIUSAmedia

(NEW YORK) - To mark its new campaign on repression of academic freedom in Iran, Amnesty International will be sponsoring a program with the New School University Center for Public Scholarship to highlight the persecution of students and scholars in Iran at the New School in New York on November 13. The program will be moderated by Gissou Nia of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and will feature experts who will address the ongoing repression of academic freedom in Iran: Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Institute for Women's Leadership, Scholar Rescue Fund fellow, Rutgers University; Mehdi Arabshahi, exiled Iranian student activist; Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and Hadi Kahalzadeh, economist and visiting scholar at Valdosta State University.

The program is co-sponsored by the Center for Public Scholarship at the New School University, Scholars at Risk and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and will take place Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The New School, Wollman Hall, 55 West 11th Street, Fifth Floor, in New York.

Amnesty International’s upcoming campaign addresses the pervasive repression of academic freedom in Iran. Iranian authorities use a variety of means to punish students and academics for their perceived dissenting views and activities. Students are banned from participating in higher education solely because of their political activities or beliefs or their assumed political beliefs. Other methods include the imposition of harsh prison sentences on student activists and scholars, the harassment and detention of teachers for involvement in teachers associations, and the expulsion or hounding of academics from their university positions. Meanwhile, members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority are systematically excluded from higher education and female students encounter restrictions on their ability to enroll in certain degree programs in which the government wants to limit their representation.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.