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ESU: “Release Iranian student leader immediately”

TEHERAN – The European Students’ Union (ESU) expresses its solidarity with the imprisoned Iranian students’ union leader Bahareh Hedayat, who celebrates her 30th birthday today, 5 April, in jail and calls upon the European Commission and UNESCO to increase pressure on Iran to release Hedayat. Hedayat has spent her days in prison since December 2009 after protesting against the regime in Iran and trying to expand the activities of the violently oppressed Iranian student movement.

Bert Vandenkendelaere, ESU’s Chairperson said: “We call for the immediate release of Hedayat who objected human right violations of the Iranian regime. She stood up for students’ rights and female rights without fearing the hard consequence of a 9 1/2 years jail sentence in complete isolation from her friends and family and in very bad living and healthcare conditions.”

He continued: “Student representatives in Europe have very good working conditions, compared to their Iranian colleagues. We therefore call upon all of our dialogue partners, and especially UNESCO and the European Commission, to demand the release and protection of student representatives in Iran.”

9 1/2 years in jail

Around midnight on 31 December 2009, after fraudulent elections in Iran, Hedayat was arrested by Iranian authorities for the fifth time in four years. She received a sentence of 9 1/2 years for participating in legal, peaceful and civil society activities undertaken by the Daftar-e Takhim-Vahdat, Iran’s pro-democracy student movement, and for challenging the existing discriminatory laws against women.In addition, Hedayat was arrested on charges related to trying to expand the relations of the Iranian students’ movement with the international student movement, which included a message to ESU for the 70th anniversary of the International Student Day, on 17th of November 2009.


Published: 5 April 2011

For more information, please contact:
Bert Vandenkendelaere, ESU Chairperson: +32473669892 or
Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32473669894 or

More information about Hedayat’s work and current situation can be found via this link to the worldwide campaign page on facebook:


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