The Iranian government arrested several leftists students in Tehran and Mazandaran last week – perhaps as a preemptive action before the “Student Day” (16 Azar). The leftists student group “Students for Freedom and Equality” informed the world about this through their blogs, and were able to organize several rallies for freedom, peace, and equality in different universities in Iran in spite of arrests.
Photo is from azady-barabary-01.blogspot.com
There are at least three interesting things about the student leftist movement: 1- After the mass execution of thousands of leftist militants in the 1980’s the Marxist/Socialist idea is still able to mobilize people in Iran. 2- The repression of the socialist students is happening in a country that has close ties with socialist leaders in Latin America including Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega. 3- This movement essentially relies on blogs to communicate and organise.
Peace, Equality and Freedom
The Barabary Azadi blog (means “equality freedom”) belonging to leftist students, writes that on December 2 while students were preparing themselves for demonstrations, the authorities began to arrest activists in Tehran.
The blog adds:
… But the demonstration was held by the Radical Left on Tuesday, in the University of Tehran in front of the Engineering Faculty. The demonstration started with singing revolutionary songs by the students; many students carring posters and slogans defining their wants and aims such as “The University Is Not a Garrison”, “Liberty of Women Is Liberty of Society”, “NO WAR”, “Hands Off the People of Iran”, “Free the Political Prisoners”, “There IS an Alternative”, “Free Our Classmates”, “The Student Movement is Allied with the Workers and Women's Movements”, “We Want Independent Unions.
The blog also published a list of names of students who were arrested and promised the movement will go ahead, no matter how many are arrested.
Schhr, Student Committee of Human Rights Reporters blog reports [Fa] that relatives of the jailed students are worried about their conditions in detention. Most of these students are being held in isolation cells in the notorious Evin prison. The Ministry of Intelligence has told students’ families they can keep them for 90 days without providing any information about them.
Back to the 80s?
The Mbulletin blog belonging to leftists students in Mazandaran, in the north of Iran, says five students were arrested and it reminds them of the bad days in the 80s where thousands of leftist militants were arrested and executed in Iran.
The blog writes [Fa]:
Once more Islamic Republic Intelliegence failed in its calculation, and “Students for Freedom and Equality” organized the Student Day in different universities all over country. Demonstrators showed their solidarity with jailed students. Students in universities in Tehran, Shiraz, Ahwaz, Mashad, Isfahan, Sanandaj and Mazandaran called for freedom for their fellow students.
Stars in chains
Salam Demokrat says [Fa] students were transfered to Evin prison. The blog says there are many other political prisoners such as labor and women's rights activists. The blogger comments that the Evin prison is “full of shining stars”.